News from front-lines

I just read a news item on a British newspaper website.. the story was written by a mother, talking about her son’s decent into schizophrenia, apparently as a direct result of his cannabis use ?
Whilst we can ALL feel sympathy for this family, I noted that there were about 30 comments from readers & nearly all were saying similar things to my points below :

1) NO drugs are ‘harmless’. All have side-effects, even coffee & tea.
2) her son apparently started smoking cannabis at 16. Under a regulated market, it would be limited to ADULTS ONLY (R18 at least). There is evidence that psychoactive drugs can have detrimental effects on brain development, especially in young people.
3) whilst I agree that there is evidence that cannabis, has been linked to some mental issues.. this is often associated with people who are predisposed to these issues or grossly over-use these drugs in early age. This is NOT proof that everyone who uses cannabis will suffer in this way. Echoes of ‘Reefer Madness’ ?
4) under the current regime (prohibition) there are no rules around ‘sensible use’ . The only rule being; zero-tolerance ! This often stops rational research into the drugs effects.
5) the MOST harmful drugs in most countries are : Alcohol & Tobacco (responsible for many 1000s of deaths each year) BUT because these are ‘legal’ they are considered OK & these stats. are largely ignored by the general populous.
6) every time there is a death or other issue attributed to cannabis, it becomes a media sensation & condemned as PROOF of its harmful effects.
7) whilst I have heard of a small number of deaths attributed to cannabis, it is by far MUCH LESS harmful than these legal drugs.
8) under a regulated regime, it is likely that this individual may have been identified much earlier & possibly put into treatment, long before his ‘illness’ became as severe as this news story suggests. Under prohibition, anyone with cash & the right ‘connections’ can get access to cannabis & other currently illegal drugs. Under a regulated market (similar to alcohol) this would be much less likely !

I often wonder whether these stories are being ‘sensationalised’.. as they always have been, in order to put fear into the populous & maintain the ‘status quo’ for those who benefit from it ?!

Nearly 40 years of Prohibition/WAR on Drugs & counting.. “Penalties against drug use, should not be more damaging to an individual then the use of the drug itself. Nowhere is this more clear than the laws against the possession of ‘marijuana’ in private for personal use” USA Pres. Jimmy Carter, 2/8/1977

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