LCA Database Results
Drugs, Crime and the Law
Monday 14 Aug 2000
Cannabis, unfortunately, is closely linked to the problems of drug use
or abuse or addiction, and to crime. We suggest that the legalisation
of cannabis would almost immediately sever these linkages.
It is prohibition that has pushed cannabis into the same category as
dangerous drugs, these being available sometimes from the same supplier.
The suppliers, motivated solely by un-taxable profit, are in a position
to facilitate and encourage experimentation: they provide the 'gateway'
from one type of substance to another. The other gateway is peer
pressure, the influence of friends and acquaintances.
But in either case, to hold cannabis smoking responsible for the
smoking of more dangerous drugs, on the ground that the former may
precede the latter, is quite illogical. True, it sometimes does
precede. But it's equally true to say that, in the history of users,
both kinds of smoking are often preceded by the smoking of tobacco, and
for that matter the consumption of alcohol, substances immeasurably more
addictive than cannabis.
To punish a cannabis user because others take heroin is like punishing a
child who uses a water pistol because others later, in acts of robbery,
The connection between illegal drugs and crime is undeniable, not only
because the drugs are illegal, as is the trade, but also because of
crimes sometimes committed to get the money to pay for drugs, and
because of the types of crimes that go with illegal drug-
dealing - from fraud to murder. Again, the cause of all this is money -
the profits created, ironically enough, by prohibition itself.
Certainly, it makes sense to punish people for acts that victimise
others, but why punish people for acts that do not? The user of
a drug who commits no other crime than using the drug is in no way
deserving of punishment. If he or she needs help, they should be helped
not punished; those who need no help should be left alone, and
protected. Neither end is achieved by prohibition.
If cannabis were legalised, police would be freed to chase criminals -
real criminals: and the pressure on our prisons and courts would be
eased in proportion.
The single, most urgent, and potentially effective step that can be
taken, immediately, to reduce crime is to legalise cannabis.
CANNABIS: LEGALISE AND UTILISE
A MANIFESTO AND INFORMATION DOCUMENT 2000
Produced and published by:
The Legalise Cannabis Alliance
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