I often read ‘stuff’ about the previous (prior to 20th century.. not illegal & widely available for medicinal & personal use) & current legal status, of Cannabis (& other DRUGS) & also many comments from all sides on their preference as a way forward on the issue..
I hear words like: Prohibition, Zero-tolerance, Decriminalise, Legalise, Regulate & maintain Status quo.. Under the ‘status quo’ (latin: existing state) we have effectively; black-markets, gangsters, corruption, violence.. a massive law enforcement bureaucracy to: arrest, prosecute & punish (draconian & punitive).
Our current situation is ‘dictated’ by UN Convention & local legislation & jurisdiction.. as opposed to the ‘will of the masses’
I wonder what the people think (if you are reading this)
1) Prohibition (current) : Prohibit/Ban the drugs currently listed in the UN single convention 1961 on: ‘narcotic’ drugs.. often seen as zero-tolerance. Maintain status quo: arrest, prosecute & punish. Often resulting in: criminal conviction, loss of job opportunity, travel restrictions & alienation.
The main issue being; drugs are still widely available via a totally unregulated ‘black-market’ (sold to anyone with cash)
2) Decriminalisation (contentious alternative): removal of criminal conviction, BUT possibly maintain a level of punishment (fines, community work etc.) maybe including order to attend education, treatment/rehab. etc.
3) Legalisation : Removal of ALL criminal & punitive sanctions for medicinal & personal (adults only) use of current illegal drugs (esp. natural cannabis)
4) Regulation : Legal BUT strictly regulated with legally enforceable rules. eg age limit, limit on amount that can be sold, limited places it can be sold from, punitive sanction on anyone who breaks the rules.. similar to Alcohol/Tobacco & other ‘substances’ under new legislation in Aotearoa/NZ (psychoactive substances)
5) Increase current punitive option: I occasionally hear some people say, that the current laws are not harsh enough. We should move toward REAL zero-tolerance.. mandatory jail sentences for ALL convictions & the death penalty for manufacture & supply (even the smallest amount).
I for one, would like to see a national, BINDING ‘Reefer-endum’ on this issue (ASAP). Its time that the people had their say.. not just the politicians who still mostly ‘run scared’ from the issue or just-plain refuse to debate it (fearing a political back-lash against their opinions) !