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Should Cannabis be legalised in the UK?

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Introduction

Should Cannabis be legalised in the UK? Most people have their own opinion on whether or not Cannabis should be legalised but the reasons behind these opinions are not always correct and justifiable. Cannabis is now a class C drug after it was dropped from being a class B in 2004. It is illegal to have, give away or deal in Class C drugs, and to grow cannabis plants. The maximum penalties for being in possession is 2 years in jail plus an unlimited fine, for supplying or dealing cannabis you can get 14 years in jail plus an unlimited fine and if you are caught in possession with intent to supply cannabis you could get up to 14 years in jail plus an unlimited fine. Cannabis is the most widely used illegal drug in the UK, with up to 3 million consumers per year. It is most commonly smoked, usually by mixing it with tobacco and rolling it up with cigarette papers into a cannabis cigarette (called a 'spliff', 'joint', 'jay' etc.). However, it can also be smoked with or without tobacco in various forms of pipes or smoking devices such as 'bongs' or 'water pipes'. Smoking Cannabis produces fairly instant intoxication, the effects lasting from 1 to 3 hours depending on the strength of the drug and the amount used. Cannabis can also be taken orally, either eaten direct or mixed with food preparations, such as cakes, biscuits (hence 'hash cookies') ...read more.

Middle

It looks to me that those people who want to use it as a recreational drug already do although it's a punishable offense. There is no conclusive evidence at present that use of cannabis over a long period of time causes lasting damage to physical or mental health. However, some studies conducted recently have found that prolonged use of cannabis does cause physical damage to the brain and short-term memory loss in several circumstances. A long-term health risk comes from the common method of using cannabis. Smoking any substance over a long period of time has been proved to be a bad idea and frequent inhalation of cannabis smoke can lead to 'bronchitis' or other chest related illnesses. It also may be a lead to lung cancer. The main mind-altering ingredient in cannabis is 'THC' (delta-9-etrahydrocannabinol), but more than 400 other chemicals are present in the plant. Some women have found that heavy cannabis use can make their periods irregular, whilst cannabis smoked with tobacco during pregnancy produces the same risks to the mother and child as smoking cigarettes. The fact that cannabis use does not represent an immediate serious risk to a persons health does not make this a harmless drug, although many people use it because they believe it is harmless. Cannabis is a 'Central Nervous System depressant' obtained from the plant 'Cannabis sativa', which grows in many parts of the world. ...read more.

Conclusion

Using cannabis places teenagers in the company and shadow of those who use and deal in other illegal drugs and may encourage other dangerous and illegal activities. In conclusion, I believe that if people want to ruin their lives by taking drugs, thats up to them and it's their own problem. However they should only be allowed to take them if they don't take the drug in public and so they don't promote drug taking in anyway. Instead of the drug beginning illegal, perhaps the taking of the drug should be relaxed and not frowned to badly upon. I can see through my research no clear indication of the drug, cannabis, being able to ruin the takers life. It appears to me that the drug only leads you into trouble because of it being banned, because the drug is illegal it leads to the taker taking drastic actions to get hold of the drug. Theft, prostitution and gang crime are all way that drug takers get the money to pay for their drug. Perhaps if the drug was available from a pharmacist it would make the drug lose its hype and reputation of being a teenage rebels drug. If the family of the taker or the taker brought the drug, the quantity of the drug taken could be measured and controlled properly. The government could also put a large tax on cannabis therefore helping others through paying money to the government which the government can then in turn use to improve the lives of everyone. ...read more.

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A well balanced and well written essay. My main criticism would be that at times it loses its structure but the writer has adopted the approach of discussing each argument rather than going for a structure of arguments for, arguments against and conclusion.

Marked by teacher Dennis Salter 13/02/2013

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