Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

“Cannabis Should Be Sold In Shops Alongside Beer And Cigarettes, Doctors’ Journal Says” – The Daily Telegraph, 11th October 2010

with 10 comments

Yes, this is The Daily Telegraph here.  Yes, this concerns an article published in the BMJ here.

There are distinct signs of sanity on the horizon.   Is it money driving this new reality because we waste £19 billion per annum on the “war on drugs”?  Or is it that Proposition 19 in California and the clash between UK and European law over medicinal cannabis is revealing the absurdity of prohibition?

Cannabis should be sold in shops alongside beer and cigarettes, doctors’ journal says

An editorial in the British Medical Journal suggested that the sale of cannabis should be licensed like alcohol because banning it had not worked.

Banning cannabis had increased drug-related violence because enforcement made “the illicit market a richer prize for criminal groups to fight over”.

An 18-fold increase in the anti-drugs budget in the US to $18billion between 1981 and 2002 had failed to stem the market for the drug.

In fact cannabis related drugs arrests in the US increased from 350,000 in 1990 to more than 800,000 a year by 2006, with seizures quintupling to 1.1million kilogrammes.

The editorial, written by Professor Robin Room of Melbourne University, said: “In some places, state controlled instruments – such as licensing regimes, inspectors, and sales outlets run by the Government – are still in place for alcohol and these could be extended to cover cannabis.”

Prof Room suggested that state-run off licences from Canada and some Nordic countries could provide “workable and well controlled retail outlets for cannabis”.

Prof Room suggested the current ban on cannabis could come to alcohol prohibition, which was adopted by 11 countries between 1914 and 1920.

Eventually it was replaced with “restrictive regulatory regimes, which restrained alcohol consumption and problems related to alcohol until these constraints were eroded by the neo-liberal free market ideologies of recent decades”.

The editorial concluded: “The challenge for researchers and policy analysts now is to flesh out the details of effective regulatory regimes, as was done at the brink of repeal of US alcohol prohibition.”

Campaigners criticised the editorial. Mary Brett, a retired biology teacher, said: “The whole truth about the damaging effects of cannabis, especially to our children with their still-developing brains, has never been properly publicised.

“The message received by children were it to be legalised would be, ‘It can’t be too bad or the Government wouldn’t have done this’.

“I know – I taught biology to teenage boys for 30 years. So usage will inevitably go up – it always does when laws are relaxed.

“Why add to the misery caused by our existing two legal drugs, alcohol and tobacco?”

Earlier this year, Fiona Godlee, an editor of the Journal, which is run by the British Medical Association, endorsed an article by Steve Rolles, head of research at Transform, the drugs foundation, which called for an end to the war on drugs and its replacement by a legal system of regulation.

Dr Godlee said: “Rolles calls on us to envisage an alternative to the hopelessly failed war on drugs. He says, and I agree, that we must regulate drug use, not criminalise it.”

10 Responses

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  1. Complete with crowbarred comment from Mary Brett. This lady I have issues with. She directly goes after and tries to dispel the “medical argument”. I find her morally questionable.

    I take heart every time I read a piece like this, but the powers that be seem to be dug in further than ever. It would be nice in politics to be A, governed on what is good for the nation and not on polls and point scoring. And B, just to hold their hands up and say “ok, we’ve listened” Is it too much to ask?

    Ok, is it worth writing to Ed Balls?! Hmmm…

    Jason (HomeGrown Outlaw)

    October 11, 2010 at 8:31 pm

  2. Where’s Debra Bell? (Maybe her son nicked her PC)

    Or the moron Magus on this site:

    He says “The Netherlands for example are on the road to banning pot tea shops because sex crimes increased significantly in the areas with the shops…Pot tends to drag in the rif-raf…being a drug-addicted wallet snatcher and necessary aspect of being a stripper”

    This is the sort of sick, perverted opposition that we still face. Mary, Debra and Magus – three sad, deluded but dangerous fools.

    Peter Reynolds

    October 11, 2010 at 9:44 pm

  3. Hi Peter, here’s a link to an editorial from my city about grow-ups. They are finally seeing the light.
    Lou in Canada


    October 13, 2010 at 2:49 pm

  4. Peter: If you haven’t seen it yet. First marijuana TV commercial aired on US TV ?


    October 15, 2010 at 7:10 pm

  5. Eric Holder and the feds are blowing allot of hot air as they are scared. However it is funny how he is so anti cannabis.

    yes on 19 and lets sort the shit out in the UK so we can all get coffeeshops and freedom to grow our own plants. No to GW pharma and there phony cannabis elixer that costs a fortune.

    Every one in the UK plant a cannabis seed please.


    October 19, 2010 at 10:04 am

  6. cannabis cures so many things, thats why all the pot heads are so fit and healthy and never get ill.
    Oh no there all on the sick begging for goverment handouts because there all paranoid and scared of the light/dark/work.


    October 31, 2010 at 2:08 am

  7. Practical writing – Incidentally , you are searching for a CA FL-950 , my kids edited a sample form here

    Roxanne Dimacale

    August 24, 2016 at 5:16 am

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