Should We Legalise Cannabis?

Did you see the news about the schoolboy Billy Caldwell and the call for cannabis to be legalised? It really is common sense that this should be legalised for medicinal purposes. Just to give you a brief background of Billy’s story, Billy is a young boy who suffers from a life-threatening form of epilepsy. His family managed to bring his condition under control after they were given medical cannabis in America. Following on from which, his local GP started prescribing the medication until he was told he could no longer issue it.

These series of events gained widespread media coverage after Billy’s mother, Charlotte, travelled to Canada recently to bring back some bottles of cannabis oil to help Billy and they were confiscated at the airport. Apparently, it was stated that the customs officer that seized them cried as he did. Billy subsequently suffered a severe fit and was admitted to the Hospital. This dwindling state of his health owing to the confiscation touched Sajid Javid (Home Secretary) so much that he issued an emergency licence to allow the treatment. Nevertheless, after some doses, Billy’s health improved.

Following Billy’s incident, the controversial issue of the use of medical cannabis has split the government and reignited the wider debate over drug legalisation in the UK. William Hague (former Tory- conservative leader) has taken one step further and called for cannabis to be legalised for both medicinal and recreational purposes.

I have contemplated this subject and I have come to the conclusion, which surely you will agree, that for medicinal purpose we should legalise it. Some countries like Portugal and Netherlands have legalised it for a while now and even Canada lifted a 90-year ban on the recreational use of cannabis last week so as to curb the black markets and regulate its use amongst young people they said.

Mr. Hague delivered a speech and said that the war on cannabis in the UK had failed utterly because it is readily available in communities and people are using it. I am still not convinced about the recreational use of cannabis because I think it might be a step too far just yet as it can get abused by the wider population when it is not a crime anymore, I will compare its use to things like Alcohol and cigarettes, these 2 are widely abused. I saw somewhere online that there is a correlation between the use of cannabis and the low crime rates in Netherlands. The Dutch are even closing down more prisons because there are no criminals to send there.

For others, legalizing cannabis might make some economic sense for the Government: Save taxpayer some money by decriminalising it – police can direct their limited resources to fighting other crimes, free up court time as well as space in the jail. Also, the tax levied on it will generate additional Government revenue just like alcohol and cigarettes so it becomes a win-win situation for the government. On the contrary, some issues might arise aside from the fact that there might be a growing number of addicts. Its legalisation might be sending out the wrong message by saying that it is safe to consume despite the fact that cannabis can damage people mentally and physically, which will increase NHS cost directly or indirectly. Pollution is another big one, we are trying to be more environmentally friendly, not sure how legalising it will help because I am sure people will smoke it everywhere (outdoors).

 

However, if it is for medicinal purposes, why can we not have it? Why wait till the Home Secretary issued an emergency license? I am sure lives have been lost because of this. Must we always have to be a reactive society, why are we not proactive? Although, the argument is that people can abuse it if it becomes legal for medicinal purpose, I am sure we are given prescriptions by our GPs all the time and with the prescriptions, we can get the drugs. Therefore, if we just adopt the same approach, people that need it will get a prescription and the prescription will be the exact dose required – surely it can’t be that technical?

We should save people the stress and headache of trying to get these medicines and save lives. If you have ever lost someone, you know how traumatic it can be, not to think of someone losing a child! No parent should experience that as such pain cannot be described in words. There is no need for the Home Secretary to waste time by setting up committees to review this, wait for the committees’ feedback and then make a decision. From my perspective, its best if we as a society exercise sound practical judgment!