Why isn't cannabis legal? | Viewsbank

Why isn't cannabis legal?

Our friends across the pond have seemed to hop on the trend of legalising one of the world’s least harmful drugs. The UK has often debated whether or not the legalisation of marijuana would be useful in society. Whilst many think that the fact it isn’t already is ridiculous, others seem to take the opinion that once “the devil’s lettuce” is legalized this country is bound to head into a downwards spiral. In today’s blog I’m showcasing the arguments which I think best explain the two opposing positions.

One of the strongest arguments for the legalisation of marijuana is because of the fact that it’s the most widely used illegal drug in the UK, selling it is a huge market solely controlled by gangs and gang culture. It’s impossible to tell exactly how much money they are making because obviously they aren’t paying tax on it and registering it. However, the most conservative estimate that I could find for how much money legalisation would raise in taxes was £1bn (not to mention the jobs it would create, and save the tax payer money on police resources as well as taxes spent on the judicial system and prisons). Another strong argument for the legalisation of "weed" is the fact that in many circles it is considered less harmful than alcohol. For example, you can die within five minutes of binge drinking, however no one has ever died from a marijuana overdose. Although some do experience anxiety and panic attacks, it’s impossible to die from marijuana alone. Alcohol can interact with medication that’s already in your body, which may cause an accidental overdose or slow down the drug’s effectiveness, "weed" doesn’t have this problem. Excessive alcohol use can lead to liver cancer as well as many other health problems, and thus far the only suggested impact of marijuana (not yet proven) could be issues with reproduction. There are no known medical benefits for alcohol consumption, however there are many known medicinal uses for marijuana. Compounds found it directly treat cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma and many other diseases. 

However, there are other arguments that suggest its legalisation could be a detriment to society. It’s a fact of life that anyone can become addicted to anything, and it’s suggested that 10% of regular cannabis users become addicted and can even experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop using the drug. In a society where there are already so many issues with alcohol and tobacco addiction do we really need to add another vice into the mix? By legalising we are only encouraging it’s use and the rate at which people are getting addicted. Furthermore, unlike alcohol, it is incredibly hard to verify whether or not someone is “over the limit” or “too stoned” to drive. One case in Massachusetts (a state in the US where recreational use is legal) proves this. A driver was pulled over for having his tail lights off, and when the police officer approached the vehicle he said he could smell marijuana and could see it in the car. Whilst the driver was able to count backwards from 72 to 65 and recite the alphabet from D to Q, he was unable to stand on one leg for long and do 9 steps and turn. Because of this he was charged with driving under the influence of marijuana, which his lawyer has been fighting for months. There’s no clear scientific consensus for driving under the influence of marijuana because the problem is so modern, and even though the amount of crashes that happen under the influence of cannabis is incredibly slight (akin to driving in the dark compared to driving in the light), if someone could get away with a crime and it was convenient for them, they’d probably be more likely to commit it. We already have a problem with drunk drivers, should we be adding "stoners" to the road?

I’m sure the debate will continue for years to come, and with the younger generations generally pushing for its legalisation I don’t think it’s crazy to say that we could be looking at legalisation within the next decade. When asked whether or not marijuana should be available recreationally 33.4% of Viewsbankers said yes, 20.8% said no and 37.7% said it should only be available medicinally. 

Some of our favourite comments were:

  • “Yes, it should be allowed in the UK, this will stop crimes and also help people who has who actually need it for medical reasons”
  • “I would rather be a stoner than an alcoholic, that's for sure. Alcohol destroys you, but marijuana relaxes you. The CBD helps relax muscular functions and the THC helps you mentally feel relaxed and helps calm you and bring you back during depression.”
  • “I believe in a society that helps each other to become better in every way, using anything that detracts from that is, for me, a hinderance, not a help.”
  • “The "each to their own" comment is pretty much how I feel about it too... I am quite happy for people to impair themselves in any way they see fit, as long as it doesn't impinge on other people.”

What do you think? Let us know in the comments! 

Comments

Less harmful my foot. So smoking weed on your doorstep being aggressive and paranoid and blaring loud music out at all hours is completely acceptable. Behind closed doors I don't care what people do, but when it impacts on me and my children then I most certainly do care. Not only that why should me or my family have to smell this disgusting smell every time we walk to our car

Cannabis is a dangerous drug in the same way as alcohol with different effects of different people. It can turn placid people into raging dangerous nut cases. Like booze, it can also leave you unaffected on one day and once again , a complete nutter the next. I have seen it first hand, many times over decades. The new variants are getter worse. To be allowed to do what you want with your body works on a desert island with no one else with whom the person with this selfish attitude can interfere. Also a person under drugs influence can endanger other peoples lives because the druggie, drunk, whatever has to be assisted at risk to others, police, ambulance, lifeboat etc

You should be allowed to do what you want to your own body if the effect on society is negligible (as in this case) and the benefits (medical and taxation) are obvious. Taking it out of the hands of gangs is also clearly a benefit, but it is wrong to say it is "solely" in those hands. Perhaps the majority, but there is undoubtedly a cottage industry of home growers and others who would not consider themselves affiliated with gangs.

Cannabis is a dangerous drug in the same way as alcohol with different effects of different people. It can turn placid people into raging dangerous nut cases. Like booze, it can also leave you unaffected on one day and once again , a complete nutter the next. I have seen it first hand, many times over decades. The new variants are getter worse. To be allowed to do what you want with your body works on a desert island with no one else with whom the person with this selfish attitude can interfere. Also a person under drugs influence can endanger other peoples lives because the druggie, drunk, whatever has to be assisted at risk to others, police, ambulance, lifeboat etc

I don't agree with your initial statement at all. Cannabis is not like alcohol. There has been decades of research on both substances which show that they have very different effects on the body. The cost to society in terms of emergency services is laughably small compared to the income from taxation to be gained by legalising it. Of course, it doesn't work for some people and there can be a negative effect from the "selfish" actions of some people. However, I would argue that there is a much greater negative effect from the "selfish" actions of, say, people whose pensions invest in arms companies, people who vote Conservative, people who drive when there is a suitable alternative, people who only eat junk food, etc. Even our state system is designed around selfishness - getting the best deal for ones country to the detriment of another. We should all try to be less selfish - smoking less weed is pretty far down on that list.

At least if it were legalised the country could benefit from the tax income. It's grown legally for medicinal use quite near to where we live and I really enjoy the aroma in the air when they harvest. Is it really worse than alcohol?

Cannabis is a dangerous drug in the same way as alcohol with different effects of different people. It can turn placid people into raging dangerous nut cases. Like booze, it can also leave you unaffected on one day and once again , a complete nutter the next. I have seen it first hand, many times over decades. The new variants are getter worse. To be allowed to do what you want with your body works on a desert island with no one else with whom the person with this selfish attitude can interfere. Also a person under drugs influence can endanger other peoples lives because the druggie, drunk, whatever has to be assisted at risk to others, police, ambulance, lifeboat etc

In Belgium everyone is allowed to grow 2 plants in their home. It certainly has medicinal benefits and would  bring a lot of revenue in through taxes. America has made billions in taxation in a year.  Wake up Britain .

Cannabis is a dangerous drug in the same way as alcohol with different effects of different people. It can turn placid people into raging dangerous nut cases. Like booze, it can also leave you unaffected on one day and once again , a complete nutter the next. I have seen it first hand, many times over decades. The new variants are getter worse. To be allowed to do what you want with your body works on a desert island with no one else with whom the person with this selfish attitude can interfere. Also a person under drugs influence can endanger other peoples lives because the druggie, drunk, whatever has to be assisted at risk to others, police, ambulance, lifeboat etc

When you all want it legalised, go have a look in most mental institutions up and down the country and find out which patients have cannabis psychosis, just have a look what this so called harmless drug has done to them, my son was one such person i have seen what it does to people and families so go give your heads a good shake, you are pathetic in thinking a drug is harmless, they are banned for a reason, morons.

You should be allowed to do what you want with your own body, everybody is aware of the consequences before they take it, if they take too much and cause medical problems for themselves then they should not be provided with sympathy, however it should not be illegal because some people are sensible and do it for enjoyment or use it medically to treat other conditions, which should never be stopped

It won't be legalised for recreational use in the UK, because unlike alcohol which stupefies and numbs, rendering the user incapacitated, cannabis has a propensity for enhancing creative and critical thought in the hands of the right people. That is I'm afraid, terrifying to the government and ruling elites, hence it will never be decriminalised as Britain's precious puritanical work ethic and history of servility amongst the lower and middle classes would be under threat. 

I have Critical complex regional pain syndrome, which means that you are in pain 24/7 which I have been told that it would help with the pain. Where I live the people who do use it, walk past and don't give 2 hoots for other people. It absolutely stinks and the smell lingers, it is so horrible. So for that reason no I would make it legal, unless it was for medical reasons but has to be smoked in there own house hold so it doesn't effect anyone else.

The bigger question is why so many people are unhappy with their lives. There are a million pleasures to be had in this world without resorting to getting "out of it" on drugs, including alcohol.

I believe it should be legalised for medical use only, it has far too many benefits for those who need it medicinally not too.

I agree. Medical usage is one of the most positive things to come out of this debate