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Wednesday, 18 July, 2001, 11:25 GMT 12:25 UK
Should cannabis be legalised?
Former Welsh Health Minister Jon Owen Jones has called for cannabis to be legalised.
Mr Jones has is to introduce a bill to legalise the drug for both recreational and medicinal purposes.
He envisages it being sold alongside alcohol at off licences.
The call comes two weeks after Tory MP Peter Lilley called for the same legalisation in order to break the link between hard and soft drugs.
This talking point is now closed. Please read the comments below.
I don't believe in the criminalization of marijuana. It is just an oppression and is for the benefit of the lawyers. The most abused drug in this country is alcohol and it gets little coverage. I don't believe we should support a criminal element and if you want to smoke, go ahead. If employers want to fight the battle let them. But not the government. Classifying marijuana as a Class 1 substance as cocaine and marijuana is viewed by my friends as absurd. There will be a lot more people vacationing in Vancouver in the next year. When the money doesn't go to vacation spots in this country things will change.
I'm 34. I've smoked cannabis for years. I do smoke cigarettes but I rarely drink Alcohol and I have absolutely no interest in taking any other drugs and to date haven't tried anything else. I am happily married with 2 lovely children and earn £80,000 a year.
I'd just like to comment on the statement made by Syd Boulton. Having smoked cannabis for many years and knowing the effects on both myself and others, I could never envisage a large spate of 'stoned hit and run' incident - it just wouldn't happen. Driving while stoned makes you the most timid, relaxed and careful driver on the road - not dangerous and risk-taking that you get after drinking.
Yes canabis should be legalised, it's a herb. Nobody complains about eating thyme or sage - I really can't see the difference.
There is no evidence that using cannabis leads to using harder drugs. As long as non-smokers don't have to inhale it (in the way they are forced to inhale cigarette smoke), then what right does anyone have to say what a free person can, or cannot, put into their body? Freedom of choice.
Cannabis should be legalised for the mere fact that tobacco is legal. Both are addictive and can cause some immediate relief while causing long term problems.
I have chronic back pain and am currently on 360mg of MST, which is a morphine based-drug for breakthrough pain. I take Oramorph along with other drugs. In the past, I have had botulism injections administered by a chronic pain doctor at my local hospital - all to no avail.
The enviromental implications of legalising cannabis are massive and taking away the stigma attached to both cannabis and hemp would be of massive enviromental and economic advantage.
Those in genuine need of cannabis should be supervised. When they mix cannabis with alcohol they turn nasty. They are like raving animals. I have experience of people like this and they don't care who they steal from.
I wonder if Jon Owen Jones MP would have the same opinion if his son had been run over by someone who had smoked cannabis.
Having smoked cannabis myself, I cannot stress enough how widely used cannabis is and how freely available it has been during the last 10 years of its increasing popularity.
The effects of cannabis enable one to relax and meditate sensibly on one's life and provides some motivation to engage in leisure activites such as art, music, writing and gardening.
I believe that the substance should be legalised as, in my area, far too much police time and money is being wasted on arresting youngsters like myself for small amounts of cannabis.
I feel that this drug is less harmful than getting paralytic with drink each weekend and not knowing what day or time it is, or where you live.
I agree with Jon Owen Jones MP that cannabis should be decrminalised.
I would agree with the legalisation of cannabis. I haven't used it in my life, but I'd like to abe able to since I've heard it's a good painkiller and I suffer from arthritis.
Legalising cannabis for recreational and medical use will only lead to
more people eventually turning to hard drugs.
The argument that Cannabis leads to harder drugs keeps cropping up and for the most part it is a complete fallacy. The only element of truth in the statement comes about due to the current illegal status of the drug. Due to it being illegal, users go to black market dealers for their dope and hence come into contact with hard drugs through this route. If Cannabis were decriminalised it would have the OPPOSITE effect to that you suggest by removing this link
17 Jul 01 | Wales
06 Jul 01 | Politics
05 Jul 01 | Health
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