11 Jun Letter To The Times On Drugs Policy, 11th June 2013

Sir,

The reason that in some parts of the US there are now more medical marijuana outlets than branches of Starbucks (Drug policy danger, letters 11th June) is because there is a huge demand for cannabis. Where there is a huge demand for something which the state prohibits, the price rises and a criminal market is created. As we have seen very clearly from alcohol and cannabis prohibition, that quickly leads to violence, human trafficking and far more harms than caused by the substance itself.

In fact, the weight of evidence now shows that not only are the harms of cannabis trivial in comparison to alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs but that for most adults, consumed in moderation, cannabis is actually beneficial.

Scientists now understand that endocannabinoid deficiency is the cause of many modern illnesses, particularly auto immune conditions such as MS, Crohn’s, cancer and diabetes. Cannabis is a natural supplement to the endocannabinoid system and can help protect against these conditions. It is also now recognised as neuroprotective and can be helpful in preventing disorders such as Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

The continuing prohibition of cannabis is based on vested interests, particularly the opposition of the alcohol industry and the avaricious motives of the drug support industry and the tabloid press. When the truth about the extraordinary benefits of cannabis becomes widely known we will understand how we have been deceived and cheated by those who support prohibition. They have cost us not just billions in law enforcement resources and tax revenue but enormous opportunities for improvement in health.

Peter Reynolds
Leader
CLEAR Cannabis Law Reform