The debate surrounding the legalization of cannabis is an important one for all of us to be aware of. If cannabis was legalized, it would have major implications for the whole of our society.
Let’s have a quick debrief of the main debating points in this very heated debate.
Does decriminalization mean less use overall?
A common belief among the pro-cannabis lobby is that if you were to decriminalize cannabis, then it would ultimately lead to less use overall. They use examples in Portugal to back this claim that decriminalization will reduce the usage within the population.
Opposers of the legalization of cannabis will reject this and point out that just because the use of cannabis is not reported through law enforcement, that certainly does not mean it is not being used within society.
The fact that alcohol and cigarettes are legal has not done anything to slow down their usage within our society, even though we all know using these substances is bad for us.
If it doesn’t affect anyone else…
Those who advocate widespread cannabis use will argue that if it does not affect anyone else then why shouldn’t we be able to make the decision to smoke cannabis, even if it is bad for us?
If we, as a society, can smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol knowing it is bad for us, then why shouldn’t we be able to consume an arguably less harmful product?
The no cannabis lobby will argue that using it would affect everyone around you. If you become mentally ill from using cannabis, then who is going to look after you other than your family or the government?
This puts a strain on everyone involved in the users care because they selfishly consumed a product knowing that it could potentially cause everlasting harm to them.
They will use Portugal as a prime example. Cannabis use is treated as a medical problem, and their healthcare bill has hit the roof since 2001. Even though we don’t immediately see the effects of this, we will either through higher taxes or a less able healthcare system.
The failed War On Drugs
Advocates of cannabis use will point out that the war on drugs has failed miserably. Ever since it began, there has been nothing but gang wars, deaths, addiction and failure of the police force to catch those involved in the illegal trading of drugs.
For this reason, they argue that legalizing it and monitoring the sale of the drugs will make it safer for the user and will get rid of the crime relating to the sale of cannabis.
Opposers of cannabis will argue that the war on drugs has failed because law enforcement has been targetting the wrong people. They have been going after the supply rather than the demand.
Attempting to track down a group of drug dealers when you have no leads is a difficult thing which takes a lot of effort, it is important but should certainly not be the polices first port of call.
Rather than targeting the drug dealers, they should look to treat people caught with the possession of cannabis as committing a criminal offence. We are currently too soft on people caught with this on their person and if the police force would only enforce the law, then we would have far less cannabis use in society.
What do you think?
Most people today have had an experience with the drug cannabis. Some experiences are good while others are bad. We would love to hear your opinion on this very important matter so please comment below to have your say.