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Should Cannabis be Legalised?

Rupert Wolfe Murray septembrie 6, 2012 Asigurari Sociale, Dezbatere, Opinie, Societate/Life
46 comentarii 1,677 Vizualizari

The legalise cannabis lobby should be reeling from recent reports that show the negative impact of cannabis: a group of New Zealanders were studied over 40 years and the results show that the IQ levels of teenagers can be permanently reduced by the drug; and a report from California describes the failed promise of “Medical Marijuana”.

Perhaps it is naïve of me to expect the legalise cannabis supporters to suddenly say “we were wrong” and all go home. This doesn’t seem to happen when people adopt a confrontational position they believe in deeply. In Britain and the US the legalise cannabis lobbies are huge, and this year they have been getting a lot of airtime.  Soon enough they will set up branches and recruit supporters in Romania.

But it has been fascinating to observe how Britain’s legalise cannabis lobby has dealt with the news that their drug of choice is bad for teens. Peter Reynolds of CLEAR (Cannabis Law Reform) is a former politician who has registered CLEAR as a political party in UK. Judging on how he has turned this potentially devastating report to his advantage I would also say that he’s also a PR genius.

This is how he headlined the news (that cannabis is damaging to teenagers) on the CLEAR website: “Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College London Confirm Cannabis is Safe for Adults.”

“The vital and important point about this” writes Peter Reynolds, “is that it sheds light on the appallingly irresponsible policy of prohibition. Our governments are failing entirely to provide any protection to our children against cannabis dealers. All the evidence is that where cannabis is legally available to adults through a properly regulated system, use by children falls and age at first use increases.”

This is a PR case study in how to avoid the impact of a negative report: focus on a positive element within the study (a statement by one of the authors saying “I’m fairly confident that cannabis is safe for over-18 brains but risky for under-18 brains”) — and then follow up with a fresh attack of your own.

All this sounds very convincing and is useful ammunition for all those casual users who believe that cannabis should be legalised. There are scores of other arguments in favour of legalisation: it could improve the quality of the drug on the street, it would bring in tax revenue and cut out the mafia, it’s good for pain relief, it’s less harmful than alcohol, it’s widely used already and it’s not addictive.

Before I started working for Castle Craig rehab clinic I was in favour of legalising cannabis. I had experimented with it at college, believed it wasn’t addictive and liked the idea of taxing the drug and cutting out the criminals who profit from it.  But when a journalist in London told me that “cannabis is the number one problem drug for psychiatrists” and that it can also cause psychosis, I started researching it. And what I found out made me realise how lucky I was to escape the negative effects of cannabis.

Each one of the pro-cannabis arguments can be picked apart and demolished, every one of the studies they quote can be countered with other studies, but that doesn’t really get us anywhere.  Much more useful is to simply look at the families around us and ask them what impact cannabis has had on their loved ones. In my experience it is very negative.

My impression of Britain’s pro-cannabis lobby is that they seem unable to see any harm in their drug of choice, and some people even believe that it’s good for you. But these same people would be the first to recognise that tobacco is really bad for you; ingesting all that poison into your lungs causes nothing but harm. But what’s the difference between smoking a joint (which partly consists of tobacco) and smoking a cigarette? How can one be bad for you and the other not?

As regards the damage to young brains, the chairman of the alcohol and drug rehab clinic where I work, Peter McCann, recently told me that “the male brain doesn’t stop developing until the age of 28 so I don’t see why it is only teenage brains that are affected.” He also reminded me that we treat a lot of addicts whose primary drug is cannabis.

I spoke to a lady in Brighton on the south coast of England and she told me that her two grandchildren, both cannabis users, laughed off the report about the negative effects on teens: “That only applies to people who use skunk” they told her (skunk is the most powerful form of cannabis available in UK). This is typical of people who regularly use drugs: denial is the most common feature.

A former patient at Castle Craig Hospital told me that “cannabis will change a person. It distorts your vision of reality. It’s the world’s best procrastination drug. It also makes you paranoid.”

UK Government statistics show that over 20% of the population use legal drugs — tobacco and alcohol — but less than 10% of the people use illegal drugs. If cannabis were legalised and it was promoted as much as alcohol and tobacco are, can we assume that the proportion of users would double? Surely the the number of teen users would increase too once it became legally acceptable (laws restricting their access to tobacco and alcohol don’t seem to have much effect).

Rupert Wolfe Murray is an editor and Central European representative for Castle Craig Hospital

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Currently there are "46 comments" on this Article:

  1. Corvus Corax spune:

    Why? Because the tobacco industry is dying? And this for the next cycle of a hundred years of happy consumers? That’s why? In short and in principle, the answer for the title is no.
    On the other hand, in Romania it is vodka (and other spirits) to be on power, yet. I know – globalisation, speed, post-modernism, multinationals etc – but, on the moment, the romanian customs are stronger than cannabis :) . The cannabis is somehow exotic… Let’s discuss and solve this dilemma in ten years from now on.

  2. Third World Forever spune:

    Ţara piere şi baba se piaptănă.

  3. Vlad A spune:

    :) do you envision a world of rats, dogs and cannabis smokers ?! :)

  4. euNuke spune:

    Cercetatorii romani in biologie vernaculara au intreprins un studiu aprofundat, intins pe durata catorva secole si zeci de generatii, asupra consumului de produse cu potential halucinogen si/ori adictiv. Concluzia, aparuta inca din secolul 19 si dezvoltata recent, este inspaimantatoare: grija este cel mai nociv drog sintetic sau natural [dupa gradul de ipocrizie al consumatorului] fabricat/cultivat de oameni, uneori cauzind moartea pacientilor inrobiti de pasiunea inghitirii hapurilor zilnice de vigilenta societala. S’a observat ca dragostea subnutrita fata de semeni constituie un element favorizant al fenomenului, accelerind prin socializarea intensa cererea si oferta, deseori clandestine, de obiective civice de proasta calitate, contrafacute sau expirate, care inghitite pe nemestecate provoaca angoase indelungate, nevroze colective de sezon si galceava intr’un pahar cu apa. In faza finala, pacientul se preda cu totul in fata depresiei instalate in puseuri poetice ["asa m'am saturat de glume/ caci totul este trist pe lume"], abandoneaza liberul arbitru si cere dreptate unei autoritati superioare care sa preia controlul si sa restabileasca ordinea.

    Specialistii romani in bioetica au descoperit si mecanismul prin care dependentii de GRIJA ajung sa se indragosteasca de principalul lor furnizor de griji, anume statul – cel mai mare traficant de obiective cu incarcatura nevrotica, pornind de la premisa neputintei apasatoare in mediile marcate de ineptie. Frustrarea, nerabdarea, intoleranta in fata viciilor si metehnelor semenilor si multe alte rotite sint alimentate de drog si in miscarea lor atrag permanent stimulii sentimentali ai unei noi griji. Scarba provocata de betivanii de proximitate se transforma in dorinta patologica de interzicere a alcoolului, dispretul fata de cartofori se traduce in elanul civic-nevricos pentru reglementarea si impozitarea drastica a jocurilor de noroc, deranjul produs de forfota gratarelor se metamorfozeaza in lege a picnicului, tulburarea stomacala cauzata de o cina ultra-picanta la un restaurant oriental se metamorfozeaza intr’o campanie guvernamentala pentru avertizarea populatiei in legatura cu riscurile consumului de sare, piper si alte condimente dubioase, unghiile negre ale unei zarzavagioaice genereaza o criza de nervi in fata tarabei si ulterior o norma sanitara care trimite taranii la plimbare si in loc aduce o tagma de intermediari ferchezuiti, igienic corespunzatori si alinatori de suferinta morala; dar drogul isi produce in continuare efectele, grija de semeni nu se lasa pacalita asa usor: urmeaza lungimea castravetilor, elasticitatea cailor verzi de pe pereti, curbura bananelor si designul pachetelor de tigari, toate necesitind schimbari de urgenta intru linistirea maselor largi de pacienti aflati in sevraj.

    Ca atare, interdictia aplicata canepei, atat la cultivare cat si la comercializare si chiar consum, este un obiectiv sanatos pentru populatie care nu trebuie lasata sa se prosteasca de capul ei; daca e sa se tampeasca tinerii, apai numai statul stie cum e mai bine sa se intample acest lucru, ce produse pot fi autorizate si distribuite prin licee si farmacii pentru ca sanatatea lor sa nu fie pusa in pericol. In principiu orice buruiana trebuie starpita de agentiile statului, nu numai canepa, ci si salvia, rozmarinul, oregano, patrunjelul, leusteanul, busuiocul etc intru salvarea aparatului digestiv al populatiei napastuite si nestiutoare. Toate aceste droguri potentiale trebuiesc catalogate de urgenta in functie de gradul de periculozitate de catre organele abilitate in colaborare cu specialistii din domeniu si scoase din circuitul comercial, urmind sa se acorde licente de exploatare catre Regia Cooperatista de Produse Naturiste a statului si alte companii de profil autorizate pentru ca eventualele substante pozitive extrase din aceste buruieni criminale sa poata fi folosite in continuare in industrie. Abia atunci grija noastra va putea fi ostoita. macar o vreme. Pana atunci insa, pruncii nostri sint expusi grav in fata acestor otravuri. Doamne ajuta!

    • sym spune:

      @euNuke Superb.

      • bec spune:

        excelent minieseu, daca pot sa-i zic asa, suna cam barbar dar asta este. Cu amicala ironie, as zice ca matale ai fumat ceva foarte bun, daca ai putut scrie asa ceva. Inca o data, a fost o placere sa te citesc. Mai astept si alta data.

    • Good Point spune:

      @euNuke
      Jos palaria!

    • Vlad A spune:

      birocratia protectoare si calauzitoare, este rigida, nu este inovativa, este ierarhizata si actioneaza mecanicist.
      oamenii cu potential creator nu vor ingrosa niciodata rindurile ei.
      ca sa se justifice trebuie sa si afirme dragostea fata de cetatean (pe care l “serveste” si care o plateste) si sa mimeze actiunea.
      vor reglementa lungimea castravetilor, il vor suprataxa pe covrigarul de la coltul strazii, ne vor “asigura” sanatatea, viata si moartea, dar nu vor stopa niciodata marea coruptie sau jaful organizat.

    • AHA spune:

      Ghise pliveste buruienile de la Cotroceni …

  5. Vlad A spune:

    ps : it was a joke based on your previous article :)

  6. Mihai P spune:

    Many of the supporters of cannabis promote it as an alternative to alcohol. The idea is that the two drugs are not really compatible, so increase in use of cannabis would decrease the consumption of alcohol, with cannabis being less harmful.

    So the question is not whether cannabis is harmless, but:

    – Would an increase in cannabis consumption really lead to a proportional decrease in alcohol (and other dangerous drugs) consumption? Maybe places where it was legalized should be studied to get an answer.

    – How much more harmful is alcohol compared to cannabis?

  7. bogdan192 spune:

    DA!

    Hearsay on articles, not a single link to the studies used to draw the conclusions. Please document your research.

    LURK MOAR!

  8. Lupul Monarhist spune:

    I am a native Romanian, living in California for more than a decade…not a marijuana consumer :-)

    Legalizing “medical marijuana” was a controversial topic and it has remained the same until present. The main pro-argument for legalizing the “weed” –as it is known in America- was that certain individuals suffering from glaucoma would get their vision improved by inhaling the smoke when consuming a “joint”. That has a medical explanation. According to scientific studies, marijuana contains an active ingredient called tetrahydrocannabinol that lowers the intraocular pressure and subsequently the vision of the sufferers is expected to improving eventually. Again, medical marijuana is not expected to vindicate the glaucoma subjects, yet it should act as temporary relief. Unfortunately for the “weed lobby”, the pharmaceuticals companies have developed medication that helps glaucoma patients even better.

    Another pro-argument for legalization was the one linked to the fiscal aspect. By commercializing medical marijuana in California, the state would tax the product at high rates. The taxes were expected to help the long battered-never-balanced state budget. In the end, the revenue generated by selling medical marijuana proved to be modest; definitely it does not help significantly the state budget.

    Currently the number of little stores that sell “medical marijuana” has diminished. The market somehow saturated, with less and less permits being issued annually to allowing patients purchasing legally the “weeds”.

    Those of you that are interested may find details here: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/mmp/Pages/default.aspx

  9. Mobgirl spune:

    Well, the main arguments for legalisation are related to something called self ownership. I am entitled to control my own body and i am the only one responsable for it.

    Even if cannabis has all the negative effects the author can think of … there is still a question that needs an answer: does the author have the right to control my body and tell me what should or shouldn’t go into it?

    If he does, how does he justify it? How can he have more rights over my body than i have?

    If he can answer these questions, then yes, he can also make restrictions over the use of other people’s bodies.

    There also are other unhealthy things documented by lots of studies: sugar, fat and so on. Should we forbid them too, in order to keep people healthy?

    • Red spune:

      That’s the libertarian argument, let people do whatever they want with there bodies (lives, etc). The counterargument is straightforward: many people have not matured enough (some despite their age) and can easily harm themselves consuming all sorts of things, some very addictive and detrimental. I don’t advocate for widesprea bans but if there were a way to define “excessive” and to control excessive consumption of weed, tabacco, alcohol, fat, sugar, etc, I’d be all for it.

    • Mens Sana spune:

      The argument is that you lose control over your own mind and body, and this affect the society.

      Just a few examples of restricted freedom:
      -you are not allowed to control your car to a speed above limits.
      -your actions are filmed and recorded.
      -gravitation doesn’t let you to control your body just as you want.
      etc.

      Conclusion: you can do anything you want, but you have to pay for it.

  10. Adrian spune:

    As I never used any such drug I still do not understand why people want to forbid to others to use it. Where is the freedom of choice (do use or not use) and where is the common sense not to get into other people’s ways to entertain themselves? This is a crime without any victim, otherwise you should punish people for breaking a leg, getting drunk, getting fat (very unhealthy) or simply trying to suicide. How about prison for being sad?

    • Lupul Monarhist spune:

      @Adrian – Usually, the people that use/abuse the drug may be easily get in traffic accidents…like alcohol, marijuana functions as anti-depressant, impairs the body ability to react quickly to external stimuli.
      I have never consumed the drug either, however I have seen countless cases of teenagers and people under the influence of smoking marijuana. And a couple of them were behind the steering wheel. Not a pleasant view, amigo! You will definitely change your opinion about “freedom smoking weed” once you become a parent. In case you want to and care about your kids.

      • Ciprian spune:

        @Lupul Monarhist

        “Usually, the people that use/abuse the drug may be easily get in traffic accidents…like alcohol, marijuana functions as anti-depressant, impairs the body ability to react quickly to external stimuli.”

        Yes, but the law punishes you for “driving drunk”, not “being drunk”. It punishes you for making noise or breaking a window not for being drunk when you do it. It punishes you for using an empty bottle of alcohol to bash someone’s head in and not for having a full bottle in your house. (By the way, I don’t know of any cases of head-bashing on “weed”!)

        So the law should also not punish you for smoking one joint or having one in your house.

        I do understand that some activists tend to exaggerate. That’s why they are called “activists”, because they put a lot of effort into changing a status-quo and they might get caught up into it. People are not ‘moved’ by realism and pragmatism so you need to play your cards right.

        But the fact of the matter remains that the biggest danger on the person that smokes is the risk of being arrested. Talk about “wrecking” a person’s life? An arrest would do that sooner than weed. Talk about impact on families? How about the impact of going to jail? Impact on society? While countless resources (manpower, knowledge and money) are used on “crimes” with just some small potential of “damage” it seems to never be enough when it comes to dismantle real networks of drug or human traffic, when it comes to eradicate systematic corruption (take the example of the Otopeni Airport) or when it comes to prosecute people of “higher status” like politicians.

        Cannabis will not go away; it would not have went away even if it were even more dangerous than this article claims. So, the question is not if we really want or need cannabis, but if the “war on drugs”, which takes its toll more in the ranks of the occasional-user and the heavy consumer / dealer, is really worth anything!

      • Ciprian spune:

        And another thing: when I become a parent, I hope I would trust my kid to let him or her make an informed judgement call on his / her own. And I would trust him or her to understand, sooner than later, one simple sentence: “Too much is too much”.

        • Lupul Monahist spune:

          @Ciprian

          Thanks for the answer. The law punishes the individual smoking marijuana in his/her house because the weed is considered an illegal drug. As long as you don’t have a medical permit, your tush is on the line.

          “when I become a parent, I hope I would trust my kid to let him or her make an informed judgement call on his / her own. ”

          That is what we all wish for…however, sometimes we need to be aware -no matter how much confidence we have in our kids, nu matter how much education they receive- on what they really think about marijuana, alcohol, etc …become a parent first and then you are entitled to voice your opinion on that matter. I am ready to listen to your experience. Keep in mind one thing…marijuana does not come along usually by itself, it comes along with other drugs and lots of alcohol.

      • Adrian spune:

        I am a parent and I am thinking of my kids; I also explained the older one what is this about and the first and most important conclusion was “let others do whatever they want as long as they do not negatively impact you or others”. Driving under influence of drugs, alcohol or just being tired may lead to accidents, but being under influence at home does not. So punish people for driving under influence, not for smoking – is that hard to understand? It’s the same as punishing someone for murder just for having a knife in the kitchen or for rape just because they are not impotent.

        • Mens Sana spune:

          It’s the same as punishing someone for having an AK 47 assault rifle (or a bomb) in his house, even if he didn’t kill anyone. Simple like that.

  11. Cip spune:

    From Tax point of view: Yes. (it will bring some nice money to the budget if there’s going to be a proper system in place – special shops, full traceability of the supply chain, etc).

    From Medical point of view: Yes. (number of users will increase with less than 10%; with good traceability of supply treatment for misusage will be easier to establish and use.

    • Red spune:

      No. That’s an awful way to raise revenue, preying on vulnerable people with an addictive personality.

      No. It’s definitely a harmful habit, a recipe for a wasteful lifestyle,and possibly depression with long term consequences.

  12. r2 spune:

    they claim it’s their right to do whatever they want with their lives. they have it their way, in the name of freedom, and screw their lives up. and, once they’ve done that, they suddenly realize that the world is, oh, so unfair, and never gave them a chance. they demand to be supported. the fact that they bravely “assume responsibility” for their actions today means nothing. tomorrow they will blame it all on the rest of us regardless. the losers of today are the “indignants” of tomorrow.

    the unconscious assumption here is that “me of today” is equal to “me of tomorrow”, “me of next year” and “me of 10 years later”. it’s not, particularly when you start taking drugs. it is irresponsible for somebody to make any kind of commitments now on behalf of “me ten years later”. by that time they won’t even remember those commitments. they will just blame the world for their failures.

    • Adrian spune:

      Yes, so what? If someone finds a way to ruin his own life so what? Not doing it with weed helps? How about thousands other ways to ruin your life legally, like drinking to death? Why do you care what they will feel in 20 years from now, do you really feel better sending them to prison for smoking weed now? Why is their smoke in their house your problem, or mine or anybody else’s? I want to let them live how they want to live and to be left to live how I want to live and I want people like you to have the decency to mind their own business only.

  13. eu****** spune:

    From my perspective,this issue is similar with the one related with alcohol prohibition.

    There was a time when alcohol was banned and a bunch of people took under control the whole distribution of the product. Good or not, after a certain period of time, you could buy it near by your corner. Coming back, to our days, it may be a similar problem and maybe a solution is to legalise the cannabis, but also to control its distribution.

  14. Florin spune:

    What is the point of the title being a question ? After reading the article, it is obvious that you are not looking for an answer, rather you are enumerating reasons which prove your view on this subject.

    Your experience with cannabis has been negative, because you work in a rehab clinic. That is a no-brainer.

    And as with any bias, people have a tendency to look for and believe information that confirms their old view and disregard information that contradicts their view.
    So with all that science, it’s still a matter of belief, just like religion.

    I don’t want to go into your debate. I can share my point of view, though. Just like yours, it’s just a belief, based on years of research and personal experience, but still a belief.

    Drugs are important in society – they are the basis for the spiritual, artistic and technological revolutions and in many ways some drugs are responsible for the humanity still being around.
    If it weren’t for the drug-fueled cultural revolution and peace movements of the late ’60s, humanity would have probably annihilated itself by now.

    Beatles and the psychedelic crowd of the ’60s has cut through the Soviet society like a knife and opened the minds of millions so that nuclear annihilation has stopped being an ‘ok’ thing with the soviet youth.

    Should I mention the music, movies, literature and scientific discoveries that drugs have inspired ?

    In fact, if there is one thing that is responsible for drastic changes in society over and over, it is drugs. And marijuana is the queen of them all.

    Yes they can be just as harmful as they can be useful, yes some people can die or go crazy, just like healthy non-smokers :) .

    But I do want the transformation that drugged-up teens with low IQ, but high spiritual sensibility and artistic taste can produce in the world !

    When I travel somewhere, the first thing I do is look up the marijuana laws in that country.
    To me this is the definitive guide to how free and open minded that society is.
    So legalizing is a matter of personal freedom and acceptance.

    If not for these reasons, there is one reason to govern them all:
    Prohibition has failed miserably and global drug use is higher than it ever was in human history.

    However, millions upon millions of young people’s lives have been destroyed by the legal system – for smoking marijuana – probably many more than marijuana could have harmed.

    So if you really want to HELP people, stop putting them in prisons for smoking. Go spread your scientific findings, talk about it, warn people about the dark side of drugs, but don’t continue supporting the system that has harmed a lot more than the drugs could ever do.

    • Oana spune:

      Wow, just wow! I have been against any form of drug, marijuana including, for a long time! The only argument I could see for legalizing drugs was the fact that prohibition is too expensive to enforce and doesn’t work anyway. But your argumentation really makes me think twice…

    • Mens Sana spune:

      Is this a joke? Or you are “high”?
      Just when I thought I heard all the pathetic arguments pro drugs…

      This is the problem with drug users, they become alienated. They couldn’t tell right from wrong anymore.

  15. momo spune:

    The article asks a question: “Should Cannabis be legalised?”.

    I’m arguing that it should. The author disagrees. Here are my arguments.

    I’m willing to concede that consumption of marijuana (I do not use it currently, not even casually, , but I have tried it in my youth) might be somewhat harmful. I’m not convinced by the study the author quotes, such studies are easily misinterpreted by the people conducting them who always have a bias one way or another. (The reason behind that is simple: people that aren’t passionate about an issue just don’t care enough to bother to make such a study). For instance it would be easy to conclude that people who use marijuana habitually are more likely to fail in life when it could just as well be that people who fail for whatever other reasons are inclined to find relief in consuming drugs while successful people aren’t. Cause and effect are often easily confused. However, studies aside, common sense tells me that any substance that messes with the brain is bound to have some unwanted side effects. That includes marijuana but also alcohol, chocolate and all sorts of stuff that gives some type of “high”. So that’s that.

    But the pragmatic question is: do the benefits of legalizing marijuana over weigh it’s main downside: easier access which leads to more consumption and therefore more harm to the users? I think they do. There are more than one reasons for legalizing weed: regulation would eliminate “spiking” with other, more dangerous stuff, prices would drop allowing users to spend their money for other meaningful and productive activities etc. But the most important reason by far is that illegal marijuana produces billions of dollars of income for organized crime. And that’s bad. Very bad. For all of us, especially the ones that don’t even use it.

    You see of all the crimes contraband is the one that pays the most. By a huge margin. There are no bank robber kingpins, no holdup or car theft cartels. Just drug lords and drug cartels. Because it’s hard to steal other people’s money. Very very hard. People themselves, not only the authorities, guard their wealth with great care. But it’s easy to smuggle stuff that people want to buy. And very very profitable.

    So the result is that a lot of wealth accumulates in some very wrong hands which is very detrimental for the whole society. When the underworld becomes rich everyone else suffers.

    I’ll trade a slightly dumber youth for a psychopathic trigger happy gangster with money to burn any day of the week. But that might be just me…

  16. euNuke spune:

    Toate ca toate, fiecare cu opinia si convingerile lui, dar, oameni buni, de ce va ambitionati sa scrieti in engleza? Nu e ca si cind am participa la o dezbatere internationala si, in mod firesc, am adopta ca limba comuna de dialogare engleza. Autorul nu este prezent si nici nu si’a dorit sa iste o polemica. “Articolul” este doar un material publicitar, si cred ca orice internaut e destul de perspicace sa inteleaga acest aspect, mai ales in urma unei cautari pe gugal. Daca tot vorbim noi intre noi, simpli cititori si comentatori romani, nu credeti ca’i oleaca penibil sa ne fandosim in straineza asta din moment ce niciun britanic nu se afla printre noi?

    Initiativa autorului -un scotian solidar cu o intreprinde de succes a Scotiei- este laudabila si cat se poate de onorabila, insa nu cred ca reflecta pozitia dumnealui vizavi de chestiunea legalizarii drogurilor usoare. Clinica de reabilitare Castle Craig -mediatizata prin acest material- are un interes special, dar legitim in actualul climat politic, in mentinerea in zona gri a legislatiei penale a consumului de droguri, asta pentru ca este unul marii contractori ai NHS, sistemul national de sanatate al UK. Deci, haideti sa nu ne confruntam cu agentii publicitari care nici macar nu sint prezenti. E caraghios sa ne stropsim la panouri publicitare oricit de inteligente ar parea. Putem sa radem, sa glumim, sa ne contram cu ocazia descinderii acestor bravi cavaleri capitalisti si dupa bunul obicei neaos…adica in limba materna.

    • oana spune:

      Interesant punct de vedere, dar cred ca dezbaterea e totusi oportuna. E pe undeva trist ca a fost provocata tocmai de “un scotian solidar cu o intreprinde de succes a Scotiei” si care are interese in aceasta problema. Ziaristii romani fie nu sunt interesati de asemenea subiecte lipsite de senzational, fie nu au timp de probleme care nu tin de politica in acesta perioada.

      Cred ca o dezbatere in Romania este utila, prea ne-am obijnuit sa urmam precedentul “european”, sa fim simpli executanti si sa lasam altora sarcina grea a ganditului. Ca nu e aceasta platforma necesara unei astfel de dezbateri, se prea poate. Ca un gest de curtoazie insa, mi se pare normal sa raspundem in engleza unui articol scris in engleza.

      • euNuke spune:

        Si eu cred ca dezbaterea pe acest subiect este oportuna si necesara. Tocmai de aceea imi redactez comentariile in limba romana, pentru ca partenerii mei de dialog sint romani, nu englezi. Iar scotianul e deocamdata zgarcit la vorba :) ..probabil nici cu lectura nu se va obosi.

  17. Oana spune:

    This is a very interesting discussion and a topic we should all consider, whether we are consuming any drugs or not. I find it funny that most comments start with the disclaimer “personally I have never consumed…” But I digress.

    From my point of view, even if we leave the science of marihuana effects aside (either because we can find studies that reach opposite conclusions, or because we don’t trust those studies at all) there are two important issues that remain:

    (1) prohibition is very expensive and it doesn’t seem to work. Huge resources are used every year to police the streets, to look up for and put in jail drug sellers and users, yet consumption doesn’t seem to decline at all. Do the benefits of prohibition justify the costs? Or should we rather legalize some of these drugs, tax them heavily, get rid of most criminal activities associated with drug distribution, and spend the tax proceeds and the resources we would otherwise use for prohibition on education programs?

    (2) some people argue that by legalizing marihuana people will not be tempted by other, more harmful drugs. So we legalize marihuana as the lesser evil. But the opposite may be true- marihuana may actually be a gateway to more potent drugs. Once more people consume marihuana, they may be tempted to experiences other drugs as well. So, which one is it? Does the science have a clear answer about this? It should, before we can make an informed decision.

    • F. Baciu spune:

      @Oana
      Pana acum nu am auzit de nici un studiu serios care sa confirme corelatia “consum exclusiv de cannabis=predispunere la alte droguri ilegale”. Nu e mentionata des predispunerea cauzata de alcool sau tutun, mult mai la indemana chiar si pentru minori.
      In S.U.A. pana la 17 ani:
      >51-79% au incercat alcool
      >31-44% cannabis
      >4-6% cocaina
      http://www.medicaldaily.com/articles/10771/20120711/alcohol-addiction-marijuana-drugs.htm

      Pt. tinerii romani, cred ca alcool ar ajunge la 95%, restul fiind sub 10%.
      Considerand studiile recente, in care potentialul de dependenta al alcoolului e de 2 ori mari decat cel al cannabisului, rezulta ca tinerii americani sunt in avantaj fata de cei romani.

      O explicatie a cazurilor rare ar fi chiar ilegalitatea acestei plante. Cocaina dispare din organism in 2-3 zile, cannabisul in schimb poate fi depistat in urina si dupa 2 saptamani. Cu exceptia catorva tari, nu se diferentiaza intre drogurile usoare si cele tari. Riscand aceeasi pedeapsa nu e greu de imaginat rationalizarea unor consumatori.

      Problema esentiala o consider abuzul substantelor cu efect psihoactiv. Consumul ocazional, chiar si de cocaina, nu cred ca ar deranja pe cineva , dar cunoscand slabiciunile psihicului uman nu putem garanta asta niciodata.
      Abuzul de tutun (doar 20% din consumatori sunt ocazionali) si alcool (80% ocazionali) are un impact social mai mare decat toate celelate droguri la un loc, datorita numarului mare si a ofertei pe masura.

      Legalizand cannabisul, abuzul acestuia ar fi asigurat. In ce procentaj? Greu de spus, cu siguranta sub cel actual al alcoolului. Intreba cineva mai sus si reformulez. In cazul legalizarii(ignorand consumul ilegal):
      1.Ce procentaj din consumatorii dependenti de alcool si/sau tutun vor face trecerea la cannabis?
      2.Va aparea un nou segment major din populatie care abuzeza doar de cannabis si ce procentaj din acest segment ar putea adauga alcoolul,tutunul sau alte droguri pe lista lor?

      1.La mijlocul secolului 18 in Marea Britanie consumul de alcool a inceput sa scada drastic, dupa un sfert de secol de consum alarmant (Epidemia de Gin din Londra).Printre multi factori (industrializarea, criticarea abuzului, interzicerea temporara a distilarii) se numara si cresterea consumului de ceai verde si cafea ca urmare a intesificarii comertului naval.
      Consumul in litrii de alcool pur in Olanda a scazut cu 10% in perioada 1980-2005.

      E foarte posibil ca introducerea unor plante cu valoare recreationala mare dar riscuri reduse(cafea, cannabis) in timp sa inlocuiasca o parte semnificativa din consumul de alcool/tutun.Chiar daca numarul consumatorilor dependenti nu se schimba, daunele fizice si impactul social ar fi mult mai reduse.

      2.Majoritate populatiei a experimentat cu alcool indeajuns de a decide daca va continua consumul ocazional. Din cei care au continuat consumul ocazional, 20% au devenit dependenti de alcool.
      Acesti 20% au cu siguranta o predispozitie (genetica sau psiholgica) la dependenta(de orice fel) mai mare decat restul 80%. Potentialul de abuz al cannabisului fiind la jumate, in cel mai rau caz jumatate din acesti 20% vor deveni dependeti si de cannabis.

      Restul care s-au abtinut de la consumul de alcool chiar daca incep consumul ocazional de cannabis au sanse foarte mici de ajunge la abuz. In cel mai rau caz toti vor abuza mai departe de alte droguri.Acest mic procentaj ar fi cu siguranta cu mult sub nivelul consumului dislocat de insusi introducerea plantei.

  18. F. Baciu spune:

    Lista drogurilor ilegale include: cannabis, cocaina, heroina ( cele 3 mari categorii si printre primele interzise), amphetamine,lsd, mdma, dmt, pcp(adaugate ulterior listei odata cu aparitia lor) si lista poate continua.
    Legea in Romania aplica aceeasi pedeapsa indiferent de drogul ilegal consumat, aceasta fiind mai mare doar in cazul traficului.
    Voi presupune ca aceasta delimitare a drogurile legale/ilegale a fost create cu ideea de a proteja populatia (irationala si usor coruptibila) de efectele negative iremediabile ale consumului substantelor din lista neagra. Rezulta ca legea considera consumul de cafeina, alcool, nicotina ca avand efecte negative comparativ neglijabile.
    O tigara facuta din cannabis (joint) nu este deosbit de o tigara cu tutun, orice tip de fum inhalat nu e sanatos, dupa cum spunea si domnul Murray. Avantajul cannabisul e cantitatea mica de fum necesara pt. obtinerea rezultatul dorit. Desigur se poate si vaporiza, principiu asemanator tigarilor electronice, sau ingesta sub forma de prajituri, metode mult mai sanatoase.

    Multe studii au incercat sa cuantifice efectele nedoride ale substantelor legale si ilegale:

    1)CANNABIS daune fizice 1.5 dependenta psihica 1.7 dependenta fizica 0.8
    ALCOOL daune fizice 1.9 dependenta psihica 1.9 dependenta fizica 1.6
    TUTUN daune fizice 2.2 dependenta psihica 2.6 dependenta fizica 1.8
    COCAINA daune fizice 2.3 dependenta psihica 2.8 dependenta fizica 1.3

    2)CANNABIS dependenta Mica-Moderata Doza activa/Doza letala 0.001*
    CAFEINA dependenta Mica-Moderata Doza activa/Doza letala 0.01
    ALCOOL dependenta Moderata Doza activa/Doza letala 0.1
    NICOTINA dependenta Mare Doza activa/Doza letala 0.02
    COCAINA dependenta Moderata-Mare Doza activa/Doza letala 0.08

    *practic imposibil de a muri de la o supradoza de cannabis

    3)CANNABIS daune 20 celor din jur 8 consumatorilor 12
    ALCOOL daune 72 celor din jur 46 consumatorilor 26
    TUTUN daune 26 celor din jur 9 consumatorilor 17
    COCAINA daune 27 celor din jur 8 consumatorilor 19

    Un prim pas in legislatia romana ar fi diferentierea intre drogurile usoare si cele tari. Dar analizand cifrele de mai sus aceasta ar fi o ipocrizie, diferentele dintre cannabis si alcool/tutun sunt clare, acesta fiind mai aproape de cafeina, iar disitinctia dintre alcool/tutun si cocaina nu e usoara.

    Daca un tanar are ca optiuni doar alcoolul si tutunul( caci cofeina a consumat sub forma de cola si energizante din pre-adolescenta) ma indoiesc ca le va refuza pe amandoua chiar daca e informat de riscuri.
    Experimentul american din anii ’20 a aratat ca prohibitia nu e solutie, deci nu ramane decat sa incercam a oferi o alternativa mai buna. Unde mai pui ca aceasta planta poate fi cultivata la fel de usor ca tomatele.

    • Nae spune:

      Dar halucinatiile?
      Ce faci cu corpul tau e treaba ta,corect,dar daca incepi sa vezi cai verzi pe pereti devine periculos.

      • F. Baciu spune:

        Intradever, cannabisul are un efect psihedelic, dar e foarte redus, in sensul ca are loc la un nivel inalt de intrepretare al stimulilor vizuali sau auditivi, adica “haluciinatiile” au loc si raman doar in imaginatie. Depistarea de diferite forme familiare in nori, umbre, imagini abstracte devine mult mai usoara, aproape automata, fara a pierde abilitatea de a distinge dintre imaginar si real.

        Daca am fi discutat despre LSD, atunci da, ar fi motive de ingrijorare. Aici efectul psihedelic are loc la nivelul subconstientului de “decodare” al stimulului vizual brut, unde imaginarul si realul fuzioneaza, furnizand haluciinatiile datatoare de cai verzi pe pereti.

  19. anon spune:

    Prin aceeasi poveste a trecut si cafeaua :)

    The ban against the plant in question, coffee, was enacted on November 4, 1756 in Sweden. The ban was as ridiculous as it sounds, and it was intermittently suspended until finally replaced by regulation and taxation in 1823. Still, many wanted a complete ban to be re-enacted after 1823, again using the “gateway drug” silliness. Trade of the popular drug, coffee, has been unregulated since 1951.

    toata povestea: http://falkvinge.net/2012/09/04/history-and-anatomy-of-a-silly-drug-ban/

    • Red spune:

      You can’t be serious comparing an transitory circumstantial ban on coffee stemming from an old prejudices with today’s ban on pot. While coffee has been scientifically proven to be mildly beneficial, the opposite can be said about pot. There is no comparison.

  20. Red spune:

    Definitely against legalizing apart for some demonstrated health effects, it just opens another door to a wasteful life style, a life without purpose that can allow not just addiction but depression to creep in ultimately leading to unrealized potential and unfulfilled lives on a much larger scale than today.

    • anon spune:

      “You can’t be serious comparing an transitory circumstantial ban on coffee stemming from an old prejudices with today’s ban on pot. While coffee has been scientifically proven to be mildly beneficial, the opposite can be said about pot. There is no comparison.”

      Marijuana was first banned in 1937, not today. Furthermore, what makes “new” prejudices better than old ones in your opinion?
      You first say it has detrimental effects on health, then you say it has some benefical health effects, make up your mind. This should help you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_cannabis#Clinical_applications

      Then you only mention the “mildly benefical” effects of coffee, ignoring the risks. See here:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_effects_of_coffee#Risks

      Let me guess, heavy coffee drinker, right? :)

      Definitely against legalizing? Because you prefer black market to a regulated one? You would rather have the government spending your your taxe money on police enforcing the ban, and in prisons instead of the government collecting tax money from marijuana, right?
      Official statistics say around 2% of romanian population consumes weed, that’s around 400.000 people. With a price of 10 euro per gram, and supposing the average smoker uses a gram in 2 days, the value of the smoked weed in Romania is around 730.000.000 euro/year. If the government taxed this market 25%, that would be 182.000.000 euro/year.

      A wasteful lifestyle? Buying weed is wasteful, but buying coffee, alcohol or tobacco is not?
      You are not entitled to tell anyone how to spend their money.

      “a life without purpose that can allow not just addiction but depression to creep in ultimately leading to unrealized potential and unfulfilled lives on a much larger scale than today.”
      [CITATION NEEDED]

      If you are not familiar with a subject, you shoul get informed, not expose your prejudices in public, and definitely you should abstain from voting on the issue, unless you can leave your prejudices aside and make an informed decision.

      • Mens Sana spune:

        “Buying weed is wasteful, but buying coffee, alcohol or tobacco is not?”

        It’s amazing how many people don’t think how stupid is this logic.
        Personally I think all the mentioned substances are harmful.
        So because there already are some legal harmful substances, this is a reason to legalize another harmful substance?

        Benefits should be judged globally. Jumping from a building has the benefit of being refreshing and cooling, but that doesn’t make suicide good and recommended. Heroin makes one lose weight, but that doesn’t make heroin something good to use.

        The economical “benefit” is also a stupid one, no offense, from a lot of reasons.
        1. The damage to the mind of people and to the society cannot be measured in money.
        2. If you add taxes to the price of the weed, the price will go up. Vat, other fees, authorizations, obligation comply with the regulations etc etc. Tobacco is legal, but tobacco black market still exist.

        There are lots of other reasons, but I stop here.

        Something “legal” become normal. But it’s not normal to smoke something that alter your perception. It’s not normal to be able to buy something like this on the street or in a shop. Same with alcohol and tobacco.

        Seems that you read only what you like from the links you provided.

        So, as a very ‘wise’ man said, “definitely you should abstain from voting on the issue, unless you can leave your prejudices aside and make an informed decision.”



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Rupert Wolfe Murray


Rupert Wolfe Murray

Rupert Wolfe Murray este consultant independent pe probleme de comunicare. Scotian cu resedinta la Bucuresti Citeste mai departe


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