Little to say for myself
Tuesday, April 29, 2003
Dope on a ropeI know I'm not saying anything new here, but don't you find it bizarre that it should actually be illegal to cultivate and consume a particular plant? If a sane adult were to grow some of this stuff in their own greenhouse, harvest it, and add it to their food in much the same way as they might do with a chilli or a sprig of rosemary, they'd be breaking the law. If they persist, they could actually be carted off to prison or forced to pay large sums of money to the state, even though they're not impinging in any way on anyone else, and arguably doing themselves less harm than if they had accompanied their meal with a bottle of wine or lit up a post-prandial ciggy. Or even just pigged out at McDonald's.
And before you start listing the many health risks associated with the stuff, there's a huge difference between something being inadvisable and it actually being illegal, but people always seem to confuse the two. I know the arguments are all well worn, but I've never really seen the issue tackled in a logical way. It's always emotional. How can someone argue logically that it should be illegal to inhale one lungful of smoke from a joint, but only inadvisable to drink four bottles of scotch?
Most objections to de-criminalisation or legalisation suggest the following:
The ripostes to the above are usually:
What about my home-grower who cooks with it? Can't we claim some sort of constitutional "innocent until proven guilty"-type argument in defence of such use (applied to the substance, rather than the consumer)? In other words, put the onus on the prosecution to provide evidence for the supposed harm being done, either to the individual or society?
What about a system of licensing (like for firearms) to control private use? Or are we saying that an ounce of cannabis resin is more dangerous than a shotgun? Surely there are smarter ways of going about this than applying a blanket ban on all forms of use.
Ever the intellectual, I read Ben Elton's High Society recently, and I find it very difficult to argue with the main character's views about legalisation (of all drugs for recreational use), apart from the problems associated with it being legal in one country but not others.
I'm still waiting for a grown-up debate about this - and in the meantime I can't even soothe my nerves without resorting to perfectly legal substances that do me all sorts of chemical harm.
posted by Plig | 16:46 |
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