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Should Cannabis Be Legalised

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Introduction

Cannabis is a phsycoadictive product from the plant Cannabis Sativa and has been illegal in Scotland since the beginning of the 20th Century. However, "should cannabis be legalised?" is a very controversial question. Cannabis is the most frequently used illegal drug in the world, with 0.6% of the planets population using it daily - and many people think it should be legalised again. In this essay I will attempt to outline the various arguments for and against legalising this substance. For thousands of years cannabis has been used for medical purposes, but with the arrival of new drugs like aspirin in the 20th century the number of people using it has dropped. In recent years however, it has been gaining support among those who swear by its effectiveness at helping to relieve the pain from many diseases. It is proven to help sufferers of arthritis, asthma, depression and glaucoma yet the government still chooses to keep it illegal. ...read more.

Middle

They think that legalising cannabis would make it socially acceptable, although the government say that even if it were to be legalised it would still be discouraged. Legalising cannabis would increase road accidents as it makes reactions slow, costing the government money which could be spent on better things such as education. Despite the fact that there are proven medical benefits from cannabis, prolonged use of the drug can cause paranoia and leads to mental disorders such as schizophrenia; studies have shown that the younger a person is when they first start taking cannabis, the more likely they are to develop mental health problems in later life. Some people argue that the use of drugs creates no victims other than the user, but drug misuse has many victims including the families of addicts and people harmed in drug related accidents. A poll organised by Time magazine in 2002 found that thirty-four percent of readers wanted cannabis to be totally legalised - double the number from 1986. ...read more.

Conclusion

Any change to the current law would need to be accompanied by a widespread campaign of public health information and legalisation should only apply to those over the age of eighteen. The drug should only be available from strictly controlled licensed outlets and anyone buying should be advised of possible side-effects particularly when used with prescription and other medicines- and particularly of the dangers when taken along with alcohol. I believe the major advantage of making cannabis legally available is the fact that it would be removed from the "underground scene" which is more likely to put young people particularly in a situation where they might be offered "harder" drugs by unscrupulous dealers. Recent government health campaigns - plus information provided to us in school - have highlighted the very real dangers involved in over-use of alcohol, particularly for young people. These dangers include liver damage, brain damage, accidents and even death. As Jon Owen Jones said, no deaths have been attributed to the use of cannabis, so it seems illogical to criminalise cannabis when alcohol is so freely available. ...read more.

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