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Sunday, 7 October 2018

Weed should be legal

I support the legalisation of marijuana for similar reasons to why I support the legislation of prostitution: I believe it would be more beneficial to society economically and in terms of public safety. (Note, am only speaking for the UK).

If weed were legal, it could be taxed and regulated by the government in the same way that cigarettes and alcohol are. These taxes could then be used to help fund public services, such as the NHS. A third of adults in the UK have taken illegal drugs at least once, with marijuana being the most common. This is probably due to weed being one of the most inexpensive drugs (a typical 10 gram bag costs ten quid), and due to it being one of the least harmful. (This does NOT mean that weed is totally harmless, merely that it is less harmful than cocaine and crystal meth - and alcohol!)

So when people constantly discuss the legislation of drugs, it is typically weed that is most advocated for. Why not just legalise all drugs? The simple reason is that weed is the most commonly used illegal drug, and it has been proven to be less harmful than alcohol and less addictive than cigarettes. When something is made legal, it should be in order to help society, rather than hinder it. In my blog post about abortion, I argued that abortion being legal is better for society because it prevents illegal or dangerous abortions done by non-qualified doctors, and stops unwanted children being born into potentially delinquent households.

Another reason I think weed should be legal is that it would be under government control, which would stop it from being sold on the black market. Due to marijuana being the most highly demanded illicit drug, this would cut down on an enormous amount of the black market's resources, and probably drive out a lot of drug cartels and drug dealers. Gangs killing each other over drug money and young boys being recruited would massively decrease.

Perhaps that is an overstatement, but by simple logic it would make sense - weed is the most sought after illegal drug in the UK (and one of the cheapest); making it legal means that cartels would not need to supply it if it were supplied by a safe and secure vendor. Plus, the government would have to make sure it was safe enough for consumption - it wouldn't be mixed with whatever crap it gets mixed with on the street.

And of course, it would cut down on the prison population. If smoking weed were no longer an offence and selling weed illegally no longer necessary, then all of those potential criminals would no longer be incarcerated. (They could make space for those who had committed serious crimes!)

But one of the main counter-arguments is wouldn't everyone be getting high and affected? After all, weed is still a drug. My response to this is that whether weed is legal or not, people who want to smoke it will, and people who don't, won't. Holland has shown that weed legislation actually makes people less likely to take the drug; the 'thrill' of taking an illegal substance is taken out of it, but also when it comes to it, people will only do something because they want to. Lots of things are legal but it doesn't mean we do them.

Note: this entire post is based around me discussing the legal and economic benefits of weed legislation. It has nothing to do with my 'personal feelings' around weed. I have smoked several times in my life but I am not a regular smoker. Weed is still a drug and I am not dismissing the negative long-term effects that heavy pot smoking can cause, such as depression and psychosis. 


'A third of UK adults have tried drugs at least once; weed is the most common'

Weed is safer than alcohol or tobacco:

UK and drug crime 'the biggest market is for cannabis, followed by heroin then cocaine'

Holland and weed:

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I'm Zarina Macha, an author, blogger, and musician from London. I write about stuff on the internet 'cos having opinions is fun -- if you want to join the games, please note your thoughts below. All thoughts welcome, even if they're mean (just no spam links please -- can't tell you what a liability those are to remove).
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