In response to ‘A Case for the Legalisation of Marijuana‘, an appallingly researched and poorly-argued article published online and in the last issue of the Wessex Scene, I would like to present my case against the notion of legalising cannabis in Britain.

It is true that in the state of Colorado, millions of pounds worth of revenue has been collected by the government thanks to the legalisation of the Class B drug, revenue which ironically has been used to fund youth prevention services and help those affected by substance abuse.

However, let us think for a moment at what expense this money has been collected. Firstly, marijuana has not been labelled a Class B drug in Britain for nothing. It is addictive and dangerous with horrific side-effects, and legalising it would only encourage youth and adults alike in Britain to fund another habit on top of smoking and drinking. For years the NHS have campaigned for people to stop smoking and to drink and drive responsibly; moreover they have helped addicts and victims of drink and drugs on the road to recovery. What message would the government be sending out to the youth of today by legalising cannabis? How much of that revenue would have to go back into the NHS to help all those affected by binge smoking? When Brits can’t even be trusted to drink responsibly, what good will it do to allow them another method of intoxication? And when does it stop? Next we’ll be campaigning for the legalisation of cocaine…

At this point it is important to bring smoking into the debate because cannabis is very often cut with tobacco, and nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs on sale in Britain. And at a time when both tobacco and marijuana sales are actually falling, it hardly makes sense to suddenly legalise marijuana.

It cannot be denied that marijuana is a very widely used illegal drug, so the legalisation should actually be beneficial to those buying it – the drug contents would be cleaner, the sale of it controlled and we could assume the end of the black market. But have we really considered the way the black market works? A dealer isn’t going to let his customers walk away easy. Drug gangs are lethal and lowering the crime in one area (legalising the drug) will definitely not lower the crime rate within the underground community. As a side note: legalising murder is also a quick-fix way of lowering crime, but it doesn’t make it morally right.

In response to the statistics of those being admitted to hospital because of peanut related problems, well it’s obvious isn’t it? Peanuts aren’t illegal. No one ever got shot buying peanuts. And if you look deeper than the statistics, how many incidents could be indirectly linked backed to marijuana? Knife wounds from a dealer, weed-induced fights, shooting spree whilst high? Surely we want to lower the number of those being affected by the drug instead of encouraging crime.

And now the argument on alcohol. Firstly, the health benefits of a moderate amount of red wine each week have often been proven. However, the only long-term side-effects of smoking cannabis are dangerous and definitely not beneficial for the brain. Furthermore, breathalysers can be used to control the consumption of alcohol on drivers. One slip and it’s not just points on your licence; drinking and driving can lead to thousand-pound fines and imprisonment. We currently do not have the measures to be able to control the use of marijuana. And let us imagine that we’re waiting at a bus stop and a few people light up – it’s annoying enough when it’s just tobacco, but think for a moment how much worse it would be for a non-smoker, an elderly person or an asthmatic being affected passively by the smoke of a cannabis joint. One glass of wine only affects the person drinking it, whereas one joint inflicts its effects on all those in the vicinity.

There are very real and common side-effects of marijuana; side-effects incomparable to those of alcohol. As well as causing hallucinations and giving the initial euphoric sensation, it also increases feelings of anxiety and paranoia, changes in brain development and can ultimately lead to lung cancer. In a world that is becoming increasingly fast paced and stressful, where depression and anxiety are becoming the norm for young working people, the last thing people need is the influence of cannabis. Marijuana has also been proven to contribute to the likelihood of aggressive and violent behaviour, including domestic abuse and sexual assault. A legalisation of marijuana condones this behaviour and undoes what progress has been done for those suffering from addictions. It is illegal for good reason, so let’s keep it that way.

Image by Katie Hodgson-Smith

Image by Katie Hodgson-Smith

18 Comments »

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  • Speaking of appalling research.
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    I’m going to need to see some sources for a lot of these claims. They run counter to most if not all of the material I have researched.

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  • Hahahahahahaha
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    “weed-induced fights, shooting spree whilst high?”

    Please tell me this is satire. The only fights anyone on weed gets into are to between them and gravity while getting off the sofa. The only sprees they go on are for Doritos and juice.

    Author clearly has no idea what they’re talking about.

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  • Phil
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    would love to see your evidence that cannabis causes lung cancer

    i’ll wait

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  • Richard
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    I stopped reading after “It is addictive and dangerous with horrific side-effects”

    lol

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  • Pied Piper
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    Smoking marijuana does not cause lung cancer. Smoking tobacco causes lung cancer. I have never smoked tobacco, yet I regularly smoke cannabis through pipes and with herbal blends. Cannabis has been proven to aid asthma, not worsen it. I have never been paranoid, I have never been violent. I suffer from depression and anxiety, which are drastically reduced when I have smoked. I can relax, I can sleep, and I can enjoy myself, so much more than alcohol.

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  • ralph
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    You criticise a previous article for being poorly researched but you appear to be writing your article from a position of complete and total ignorance
    ” Knife wounds from a dealer, weed-induced fights, shooting spree whilst high? Surely we want to lower the number of those being affected by the drug instead of encouraging crime.”

    Find me more than 1 or 2 examples of cannabis induced fighting or mass murder and I might buy it but anyone with an ounce of knowledge about weed/drugs knows this just simply isnt the case.

    “Marijuana has also been proven to contribute to the likelihood of aggressive and violent behaviour, including domestic abuse and sexual assault”
    Just no, you have literally fabricated all of that, where is this research? Absolute nonsense. Your bias is painfully obvious, you speak about the minor health benefits of alcohol yet ignore the fact that cannabis cures and treats the symptoms of hundreds of disorders, do you forget that cannabis legalisation began with permitting medical use?

    Its just genuinely unbelievable any outlet would publish such a hyperbolic, lie filled pile of nonsense like this article. It reads like a piece on the Onion, tell me, what happened to traumatise you against cannabis so much?

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  • Damir
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    The author clearly had too much to drink, pot never makes people so delusional.

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  • Kayte
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    This article is incredibly poorly researched and really belongs in the pages of the Daily Mail as opposed to this. Makes me sad to be around ‘students’ who can’t even research properly.

    If your biggest issue with marijuana is the ‘lung cancer’ risk then maybe you should take into consideration that it can be vapourised or eaten. These completely bypass the smoking side of it.

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  • Carl
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    http://marijuana-uses.com/mr-x/

    When you’re arguing with Sagan, you’re in for some trouble.

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  • Fouad Al-Noor (previous opinion editor)
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    Wow, honestly this is the standard that the WessexScene has these days? This article is flawed in so many ways that I can’t take it seriously. It is completely clear that it is wrong from a scientific, moral and even legal (in terms of rights) perspective. So little research has been done that gems like the following are found:

    “…weed-induced fights, shooting spree whilst high?”

    “Firstly, the health benefits of a moderate amount of red wine each week have often been proven.”

    “Marijuana has also been proven to contribute to the likelihood of aggressive and violent behaviour, including domestic abuse and sexual assault.”
    I am all for a well reasoned argument and even though I am a supporter of cannabis legalization I can present a much better (and at least fact based) argument. It is clear that the author is completely biased and ignores vast amounts of information on both sides of the debates. I think the editors of the WessexScene have really failed at informing the writer about how articles should not be based on false assumptions and fabricated facts.

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  • James
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    Is this a joke? You know nothing, Jade Bee!
    You sound like anti-marijuana propaganda from the ’50s.
    You criticize the former article for its argument and research and yet your argument is terrible and almost everything you say is instantly refuted by a minute of actual research.
    Aggression: http://ncpic.org.au/ncpic/publications/factsheets/article/cannabis-and-aggression
    Health/sexual assault:
    http://archive.saferchoice.org/content/view/24/53/

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  • Disappointed reader
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    Cannot abide sloppy journalism. Amoungst other things, how one can compare the benefits of moderate alcohol intake with abusive usage of any substance is just fear mongering tosh.

    You could do the same with anything: “a moderate glass of red wine is better for you than downing 20 litres of water”

    I agree with the point that questions if this nation can be trusted with marijuana with its track record of drink, but to phrase it in such an ignorant way is plain despicable. You should consider a job in pharmaceutical marketing.

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  • Such bullsh*t
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    Opinion pieces are one thing, but it’s sad to see the Wessex Scene are prepared to publish material that is flat out untrue for the sake of page views.
    Good job guys, really maintaining a sense of journalistic integrity, well done.

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  • This must be satire
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    Please?

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  • WHY
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    I bet you’re fun at parties.

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  • Timmy
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    “In response to ‘A Case for the Legalisation of Marijuana‘, an appallingly researched and poorly-argued article” read an even more appallingly researched and poorly-argued article making such ludicrous and spurious claims such as “legalising cannabis will lead to the legalisation of cocaine!” (which rather reminds me of the ridiculous anti-gay marriage arguments about polygamy and bestiality).

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  • Proletariat
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    Is this real? it seems to contain no facts, logical argument or any rational thought. I think the idea of a dealer hunting down people for buying a henry from another source laughable, you obviously have no knowledge on what you are talking about. Alcohol causes massive damage to people and for you to try and pass it off as less harmful than a plant, which contrary to your drivel, that doesn’t have too many long term health implications.

    The irony of it all.

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  • Jennifer Allerton
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    To opinion articles not have to contain any fact at all?

    Reply