Thursday, 10 November 2016

Cannabis legalised in California

America is a very different country to the UK. With all the hubris surrounding Donald Trump and his election, little comment has been made on the news that cannabis has been legalised for recreational use in California and three other states following a statewide referendum. I suppose for Bill Clinton, he can now at least legally inhale when he is seeking solace for his wife's defeat.

In California, referendums are regular occurrances.  The state legislaature trust the voters and give them a say in how the state is governed. In the UK there is no such trust. A response to the EU referendum in the UK was to call for the end of referendums. I would be intrigued to see what the result of a UK referendum on cannabis legalisation would be. As far as I can see, prohibition has been a complete failure and succeeded only in generating huge profits for criminal gangs. Anyone who wants to use cannabis in the UK does and the police have little interest in bothering casual users.

I've long been convinced by the argument that if cannabis was legalised and regulated, it would be a far bettter situation. All of the evidence shows that there is no increase in usage, but there is a huge decrease in criminality. There is some evidence that cannabis does lead to mental disorders, but due to the illegal nature of the the drug, this is hard to measure and quantify. I believe that the taxes raised by legal sale would enable studies to proceed to fully understand this. The regime of ciminalisation has clearly failed, therefore we need to proceed in a different manner.

What I find quite shocking is that schools do not educate young people as to the issues with cannabis usage. Most people I've spoken to who staunchly against cannabis legalisation have not bothered to study the matter or read the research. Those that have, such as Peter Hitchens, Daily Mail commentator are highly selective in there interpretation of data. In California, the populace had the chance to properly review the evidence and vote accordingly. It is interesting to see what theire choice was.

For the record, I don't use cannabis. I did when I was younger, but I guess I grew up. I personally would strongly advise anyone in the UK to avoid strong skunk weed grown in the UK, as it is largely grown with the use of dangerous systemic chemicals. I find it scandalous that this is not mentioned at all by the authorities. It is interesting for me, as a cancer sufferer to note that it has clinical use in the treatment of the condition. It seems ridiculous to me that this blocked in many places by non scientific prejudice. It is surely time for us to grow up.

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