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Legalisation of Cannabis


A_man_about_a_dog

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Nov 28, 2006
Messages
181
Before I get branded as a tree hugging hippy or a stoner, I am not. I simply think that it is about time this topic was raised so as to allow proper debate on it.

Cannabis, as we all know, is a naturally occuring drug. It is far less harmful then alcohol or tobacco, proved by the fact that there has never been a cannabis related death recorded anywhere in the world. If cannabis were to be legalised there would be a huge amount of revenue generated for the economy, not to mention the taxes which could be made. It has been estimated that approximately a quarter of the Irish population have smoked cannabis at some stage in their lifetime with approx 5% smoking it on a regualr basis.

If we make the assumption that each regular user smokes half an oz. a week, priced at about €50, and based on the figure of 5% of the population (roughly 200,000 people), we are talking €10,000,000 a week in revenue from the sale of cannabis. If it were to be legalised, and taxed at about 20%, it works out at a tax revenue of €2,000,000. And remeber that is only regular users, if we were to do more elborate calculations including occassional users the figure woud naturally rise.

Even if we are to step away from the economics of legalisation and look at the positive effects of legalisation there are benefits to be seen. Firstly, with legalistation and strict controls on imports, the industry would be taken out of the hands of low-life crimnals who make a fortune from it at the moment. Secondly, it would also offer a less harmful alternative than alcohol or tobacco. Compared with the agression and violence which can often be seen on Dublin's street relating to alcohol, I have never heard of cannabis fueled violence and would be very surprised if anyone can offer any evidence suggesting otherwise. I cannot find any figures for the amount of money spent treating alcohol related illnesses and injuries in A&E's but as cannabis is non-toxic it cannot be said to account for any A&E admissions, nor have any been reported.


Here is a link to NORML, a group based in America who are trying to reform marijuana laws both there and across the Westen world:
http://www.norml.org

So, what are your views on the topic of legalisation?
 


TheBear

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Joined
May 25, 2004
Messages
234
<Mod>Moved to Justice.</Mod>
 

Moogie

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Joined
Aug 23, 2005
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245
A_man_about_a_dog said:
It is far less harmful then alcohol or tobacco, proved by the fact that there has never been a cannabis related death recorded anywhere in the world.
I assume you mean death by a related disease. Aren't a lot of road traffic accidents attributed to cannabis?

A_man_about_a_dog said:
based on the figure of 5% of the population (roughly 20,000 people),
Dude, all that hash has stewed your brain. 5% of 4-5 million is 200 - 250 thousand.
 

A_man_about_a_dog

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Nov 28, 2006
Messages
181
Moogie said:
I assume you mean death by a related disease. Aren't a lot of road traffic accidents attributed to cannabis?
No, alot of road accident aren't attributed to cannabis. The fact that someone has cannabis in their blood is not an indicator that it has been a direct cause of an accident. Drugs such as cannabis can be detected in the blood for anything up to 3 weeks. So the answer to your statement is no.

As for my figures, mistake, will edit them.
Hash melted my brain? I'd be fairly certain I have a higher IQ than you.
Republican ideology melted yours? :shock:
 

A_man_about_a_dog

Active member
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Nov 28, 2006
Messages
181
Moogie said:
I assume you mean death by a related disease. Aren't a lot of road traffic accidents attributed to cannabis?
Is it not true that fatigue plays a role in as many accidents as drink?
I can guarantee that far less accidents are to do with cannabis than either drink or fatigue.

Also, if you actually took the time to check the link on the post, you will find that one of the main principles of resonsible cannabis use is "no driving". Also on the NORML site are numerous links to various studies which conclude that cannabis is much safer than alcohol, and prescription drugs, in a driving situation.
Dont get me wrong, I am not saying "its ok to smoke and drive", I am simply saying that research has found it to be safer than alcohol and perscription drugs.
 

Moogie

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Aug 23, 2005
Messages
245
A_man_about_a_dog said:
Hash melted my brain? I'd be fairly certain I have a higher IQ than you.
I don't really take much heed of IQ as a measure of Intelligence although I have scored between 150 and 170 on the few that I have taken. (None in the last 5 or so years I must add)

A_man_about_a_dog said:
Republican ideology melted yours? :shock:
Far from it. Republicanism encourages reading, debate and other activities that exercise the old noggin.
 

sackville

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Joined
May 4, 2005
Messages
85
A_man_about_a_dog said:
Before I get branded as a tree hugging hippy or a stoner, I am not. I simply think that it is about time this topic was raised so as to allow proper debate on it.

Cannabis, as we all know, is a naturally occuring drug
so's snake vemon
A_man_about_a_dog said:
. It is far less harmful then alcohol or tobacco, proved by the fact that there has never been a cannabis related death recorded anywhere in the world.

Cannabis link to mental illness strengthened


The link between regular cannabis use and later depression and schizophrenia has been significantly strengthened by three new studies.
The studies provide "little support" for an alternative explanation - that people with mental illnesses self-medicate with marijuana - according to Joseph Rey and Christopher Tennant of the University of Sydney, who have written an editorial on the papers in the British Medical Journal.
One of the key conclusions of the research is that people who start smoking cannabis as adolescents are at the greatest risk of later developing mental health problems. Another team calculates that eliminating cannabis use in the UK population could reduce cases of schizophrenia by 13 per cent.
Marijuana smokers have 'brains like schizophrenics'

A_man_about_a_dog said:
I cannot find any figures for the mount of money spent treating alcohol related illnesses and injuries in A&E's but as cannabis is non-toxic it cannot be said to account for any A&E admissions, nor have any been reported.
Respiratory Effects of Marijuana and Tobacco Use in a U.S. Sample

Conclusion: The impact of marijuana smoking on respiratory health has some significant similarities to that of tobacco smoking. Efforts to prevent and reduce marijuana use, such as advising patients to quit and providing referrals for support and assistance, may have substantial public health benefits associated with decreased respiratory health problems
and that's not looking too hard for contrary scientific evidence.
 

A_man_about_a_dog

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181
sackville said:
Cannabis link to mental illness strengthened


The link between regular cannabis use and later depression and schizophrenia has been significantly strengthened by three new studies.
[quote:37ce8x7f] The studies provide "little support" for an alternative explanation - that people with mental illnesses self-medicate with marijuana - according to Joseph Rey and Christopher Tennant of the University of Sydney, who have written an editorial on the papers in the British Medical Journal.

Respiratory Effects of Marijuana and Tobacco Use in a U.S. Sample

Conclusion: The impact of marijuana smoking on respiratory health has some significant similarities to that of tobacco smoking. Efforts to prevent and reduce marijuana use, such as advising patients to quit and providing referrals for support and assistance, may have substantial public health benefits associated with decreased respiratory health problems
[/quote:37ce8x7f]

I accept the evidence linking cannabis smoking with respiratory illness, but, what alot of these reports do not take into account is that the majority of cannabis smokers put both cannabis and tobacco into their 'joints'. So if a cannabis smoker is also a cigarette smoker then they are obviously going to be at a higher risk of respiratory illness.

As for the mental illness issues, I have spoken in depth with many psychologists and pharmapsychologists (will studying psychology in college) about the realation bewteen cannabis use and mental issues. Many agree that it is self medication which accounts for large portions of the patients which these studies take into account. Also there is new research which says it contains "concrete" evidence that schizophrenia is caused by a biological predisposition. (see link)

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.h ... A96E948260

I do not argue with any of the studies which you cite, but, there is the exact same, if not more, of an illness risk from alcohol and cigarettes. Lung cancer, liver cancer, throat cancer, liver and kidney failure to name only the most obvious.
The most shocking thing is that I can walk down to the local shops buy myself cigarettes & alcohol and get the ball rolling on the above illnesses.

I am not saying that there are no downsides to cannabis smoking but nobody can deny that there are just as many, even more, against drink.
It is easy to quote the studies putting down cannabis, but there is also evidence to suggest that cannabis can be extremely effective as a medicine for various conditions/symptoms, e.g: Nausea from chemotherapy, pain from cancers, pain from arthritis, relief from AIDS related symptoms.
http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/reprint/162/12/1685.pdf

I know that legalising cannabis to the general population will not have a profound effect on the ailments listed above but I would like to see one medicinal benefit from alcohol or tobacco?
The reason people think of cannabis as such a 'bad' drug is because of the stigma attached to anything illegal. If alcohol and tobacco were illegal people would hold the exact same views about them, maybe even stronger views seeing as they are more harmful.

As I have said before, its easy to pull out studies on the harmful effects, but, its just as easy to do it for numerous legal drugs.
 

Bogwarrior

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Nov 3, 2004
Messages
322
Though I personally don't and never have smoked the auld hash, I am becoming more pro legislation than in my youth. The ban just isn't working and actually adds to the glamour of it all, making it more attractive to rebellious youth.
At the very least, there should at least be a legalisation of hemp for paper and other materials. This is one of the most idiotic pieces of legislation.
Legalising hemp for paper/rope etc, would take the pressure off the Earths rapidly depleting forestry and woodland. It would also ease Third World countries where hemp is probably one of the few productive and hardy crops that actually grow there. Paper from hemp does not lead to drive by shootings, crack ho's, and suicide bombers! :x
 

ireland2004

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Joined
Mar 3, 2004
Messages
316
The ban just isn't working and actually adds to the glamour of it all, making it more attractive to rebellious youth.
I'd say if its legal though more and more people will begin to buy it...
 

Bogwarrior

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Nov 3, 2004
Messages
322
ireland2004 said:
The ban just isn't working and actually adds to the glamour of it all, making it more attractive to rebellious youth.
I'd say if its legal though more and more people will begin to buy it...
Maybe initially for the novelty factor. Dutch teens smoke it a lot less than Irish or English and it's legal there. Prohibition in 1920s America did nothing to stop the alcohol trade, only make a lot of hoods quite wealthy. Is it anymore dangerous than binge drinking anyway?
 

White Horse

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The drugs that are already legal do enough damage. The last thing that is needed is another one.
 

ireland2004

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Messages
316
Maybe initially for the novelty factor. Dutch teens smoke it a lot less than Irish or English and it's legal there.
:?

Really?

Prohibition in 1920s America did nothing to stop the alcohol trade, only make a lot of hoods quite wealthy.
I think it's different insofar as alcohol was legal beforehand and already quite popular... meaning people were used to having it. I guess my point is if something is banned there will be more resistance to criminalising it than there will be to de-criminalising something... if that makes sense. :?

Is it anymore dangerous than binge drinking anyway?
Most likely not.

Speaking of drinking, I think the time is near for going to the Hatfield. :lol:
 

Gladstone

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Mar 10, 2005
Messages
420
ireland2004 said:
I think it's different insofar as alcohol was legal beforehand and already quite popular...
So were drugs.

To answer this, and the entire legalisation debate, it can be done in one sentence.

Yes it should be, No it won't be.
 

jady88

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Joined
Mar 25, 2006
Messages
130
I am personally opposed to drugs and would prefer that we never felt the need to indulge in them but i think that prohibition has failed and just like the American dryness which created the mafia it has resulted in the creation of a great criminal underclass.
We need a radical response not jsut the same old war on this war on that crap.
 

badinage

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Oct 21, 2004
Messages
776
Bogwarrior said:
Dutch teens smoke it a lot less than Irish or English and it's legal there.
That's generally attributed to the Dutch culture however (moderation, etc). If the age for consumption of alcohol were raised to 30 in Ireland, while it was 16 in the Netherlands, I think you'd still find that Irish teenagers and young adults were consuming far more alcohol than their Dutch counter-parts, due to the differences in our cultures.
 

Coles

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Great to see this debate happening. Here's a couple of points...

'Hash', as we (might) know it, is manufactured in Morocco and Spain primarily for the Irish and UK market. The trade in hash is controlled completely by criminal gangs who have no interest in your wellbeing or the wellbeing of your children. The product they sell is of very low quality in terms of active ingredient, and is of even lower quality in terms of other additives (Hash can be ground down, mixed with various chemicals such as liquid plastics, and recast to increase the mass of it before resale, similar to other drugs).

I'm sure we all know a lot of people (of ALL age groups) who occasionally smoke hash. Personnally, I know a 65 year in a bad way with bowel cancer who uses it for pain relief, very effective, BUT all the revenue from the sale of hash goes into the pockets of well organised criminal gangs.

I believe that 'Hash' should not be legalised. It should stay banned until the government can regulate its production and distribution to ensure that organised criminal gangs are not profiting from it (and also to ensure it's quality). However, I believe that Marijuana should be legalised. I believe that anybody over the age of 21 should be allowed to grow 4 or 5 plants for their own consumption if they so wish. This would remove the criminal market completely and ensure that 'hash' with dangerous additives is not being smoked.

Before you ask, I don't smoke, and I do have children.
 

scotusone

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Joined
Aug 19, 2006
Messages
88
one of the changes the drugs squad has seen recently is the move to poly drug marketing .in the seventies and eighties the sale of cannabis was in the hands of specialist hash dealers but now your local dealer will sell you a wide menu of product , from hash to coke crack bennies or heroin . so while hash maybe a less harmful drug the proceeds go into the purchase and marketing of more harmful substances .

for this reason i think it is counterproductive to introduce the classification system that is being advocated currently as all the sales go into the same dirty pot . it seems to me that it is simply the prohibition that is driving the crazy margins that dealers make on the product and that legalisation and lincencing rather than decriminalisation is the way to go .

local controlled production can ensure quality and decent tax return to the exchequer and remove people from contact with drug dealers that in any other circumstances they would not make .
 

sackville

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Joined
May 4, 2005
Messages
85
A_man_about_a_dog said:
I accept the evidence linking cannabis smoking with respiratory illness, but, what alot of these reports do not take into account is that the majority of cannabis smokers put both cannabis and tobacco into their 'joints'. So if a cannabis smoker is also a cigarette smoker then they are obviously going to be at a higher risk of respiratory illness.

As for the mental illness issues, I have spoken in depth with many psychologists and pharmapsychologists (will studying psychology in college) about the realation bewteen cannabis use and mental issues. Many agree that it is self medication which accounts for large portions of the patients which these studies take into account. Also there is new research which says it contains "concrete" evidence that schizophrenia is caused by a biological predisposition. (see link)

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.h ... A96E948260

I do not argue with any of the studies which you cite, but, there is the exact same, if not more, of an illness risk from alcohol and cigarettes. Lung cancer, liver cancer, throat cancer, liver and kidney failure to name only the most obvious.
The most shocking thing is that I can walk down to the local shops buy myself cigarettes & alcohol and get the ball rolling on the above illnesses.

I am not saying that there are no downsides to cannabis smoking but nobody can deny that there are just as many, even more, against drink.
It is easy to quote the studies putting down cannabis, but there is also evidence to suggest that cannabis can be extremely effective as a medicine for various conditions/symptoms, e.g: Nausea from chemotherapy, pain from cancers, pain from arthritis, relief from AIDS related symptoms.
http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/reprint/162/12/1685.pdf

I know that legalising cannabis to the general population will not have a profound effect on the ailments listed above but I would like to see one medicinal benefit from alcohol or tobacco?
The reason people think of cannabis as such a 'bad' drug is because of the stigma attached to anything illegal. If alcohol and tobacco were illegal people would hold the exact same views about them, maybe even stronger views seeing as they are more harmful.

As I have said before, its easy to pull out studies on the harmful effects, but, its just as easy to do it for numerous legal drugs.
That schizophrenia may well have a genetic basis is beside the point.

The explanation most accepted is that cannabis triggers the onset or relapse of schizophrenia in predisposed people and also exacerbates the symptoms generally
British Medical Journal "Cannabis and mental health"

A longer follow up and reanalysis of this cohort published in this issue (p 1199) confirms the earlier findings and clarifies that cannabis, and not other drugs, is associated with later schizophrenia and that this is not explained by prodromal symptoms.

In a similar vein, a three year follow up of a Dutch cohort of 4045 people free of psychosis and 59 with a baseline diagnosis of psychotic disorder showed a strong association between use of cannabis and psychosis.

Length of exposure to use of cannabis predicted the severity of the psychosis, which likewise was not explained by use of other drugs.
and as for the " it's not additive" spin:

Participants who showed psychotic symptoms at baseline and used cannabis had a worse outcome, which also implies an additive effect.
another important finding is a link with depression:

This is reflected in higher rates of anxiety or depression according to the frequency with which cannabis was used. The link is stronger for young women than young men in this cohort
these findings strengthen the argument that use of cannabis increases the risk of schizophrenia and depression, and they provide little support for the belief that the association between marijuana use and mental health problems is largely due to self medication
harmless? :roll:

A_man_about_a_dog said:
The reason people think of cannabis as such a 'bad' drug is because of the stigma attached to anything illegal.
or because it is bad!
 

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