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Should cannabis be legalised?

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Introduction

Should cannabis be legalised? This essay will discuss the positive and negative implications of the legalisation of cannabis. To begin, the essay will highlight the main topics to be discussed and their relative importance in the argument regarding the legalisation of this drug. Following this introduction, these issues will be discussed in much more depth in the main body of the essay. The essay will give an opinion based upon the evidence supplied which will all be backed up with relevant and up to date articles or medical journals. To conclude, there will be a brief summary of all the areas discussed. A detailed background of the drug needs to be outlined. ...read more.

Middle

Cannabis, until now, has been classified as a Class B drug, carrying a sentence of up to five years for possession and fifteen years for trafficking. However, the downgrading of cannabis from a Class B drug to a Class C drug is set to go ahead on the 29th of January 2003. The government maintains that this is not synonymous to the legalisation of the drug (2), but the Home Secretary, David Blunkett, was ready to admit that in the majority of cases of the possession of cannabis, the police will merely "issue a warning and seize the drugs" (3). To assess whether or not the government should now take a final step and legalise the drug, it is important to firstly study the health impact of cannabis smoking on health as a whole and as compared to other harmful substances, such as alcohol and tobacco, which are currently legal and readily available. ...read more.

Conclusion

Four times the amount of tar can be deposited on the lungs from cannabis smoking than from tobacco smoking because tobacco smoking generally involves the use of filters while cannabis smoking does not. Chronic bronchitis symptoms are more prevalent in cannabis smokers than cannabis non-smokers and lung function is more likely to be impaired later in life if you are a cannabis smoker as opposed to a cannabis non-smoker. Studies at the genetic level have revealed that cannabis can be a major risk factor in the development of respiratory cancers and reports have suggested that extreme cannabis users have a greater incidence of gastrointestinal cancers, although cannabis smokers also are more likely to use other substances which increase the risk of developing these types of cancers, such as tobacco for the former and alcohol for the latter. ...read more.

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