"Make the most of the Indian hemp seed and sow it everywhere."
George Washington, 1794
"I started on glue and then went to lager and speed. I drifted into heroin because as a kid growing up everybody told me, 'don't smoke marijuana, it will kill you'."
Points to Include - Conservative MP/Councillor
Pick and choose the ones that suit. You only need four or five.
Please write letters using your own words as far as possible.
The income generated from taxation as well as the many savings of not enforcing the law and not punishing transgressors would result in hundreds of millions of pounds put back into the exchequer and not in the hands of criminals.
Cannabis coffee shops and related industries would create approximately 70,000 new jobs
The Association of Chief Police Officers supports the reclassification of cannabis - surely no one suggests they're not interested in law and order?
The experiment in Lambeth has got the backing of over 83% of residents (MORI 21st March 2002)
Only 8% of residents of Lambeth were opposed (MORI 21st March 2002)
Only 12% of people in the whole country opposed a similar scheme being extended nationwide (MORI 21st March 2002)
Police in Lambeth saved over 1,300 hundred hours through this scheme. Administrative staff saved over 1,000 hours. All this in a six month period.
Support for the law in Holland comes from throughout the community; police, politicians, drugs workers, civic leaders, mayors and citizens.
Prohibition adds a dangerous stigma to cannabis. Illegality infuses a joint with an extra buzz, the sort which encourages juvenile use.
Any demand-led trade does not go away simply through prohibiting it. By criminalising drug production and supply the market is handed over to organised criminals (effectively deregulating the drugs trade).
It is now one of the largest commodity trades in the world and cannot be stopped by police.
As with alcohol prohibition in the USA during the 20's and 30's, violent turf wars are provoked as competing criminal networks battle for control of the hugely lucrative drugs market. Criminal drug gangs are responsible for much of the armed violence and bloodshed on the UK's streets.
We should legalise drugs because they are dangerous, not because they are safe
The question we must ask is, are the policies and legislation effective in dealing with level and type of drug use that is taking place? On the basis of all the available evidence, prohibition would seem to be singularly ineffective.
The basic tenet of drug laws is that some people need protection from themselves. Let's assume for a minute this is true. The question then becomes would a regulated market provide a better safety net than an unregulated one? Who's more likely to be accountable, people who care about abiding by regulations or people who quite obviously don't? Who's got more to lose selling cannabis to a 15 year old, a coffee shop or a dealer? What's the best way of identifying those people who can and do have a problem with this drug; bring it out into the open or try to hide it away? Is someone more or less likely to seek help if what they're admitting to is also illegal? Who is best served to spot people in trouble? Who's more interested in their recovery? One tragic irony of this law, and there are many, is that prohibition abandons the very people it is supposed to protect.
We have started to accept prohibition has not ever, and will never, work. Prohibition has irreparably damaged hundreds of thousands of lives. It has resulted both in more drug use and also more problems with drug use. And it has cost society a fortune.
Legalisation ensures we can regulate what must be regulated. And drug use must be regulated because it can't be stopped. The only thing in our power is to make sure people take drugs in the safest way possible. Which is where cannabis cafes come in.
The Runciman Report noted that "The possession of cannabis is seen as the very lowest of priorities for the allocation of police resources"
We want the police to concentrate on rapes, murders, assaults, racial violence, burglary, mugging and vehicle theft before they start on cannabis
Reclassification is a step in the right direction. But an unregulated market is inherently unsafe. Regulate it, put some accountability into it, and everyone benefits.
The Government plans to spend pound;1.5 billion of its drugs budget on enforcing the drug laws over the next three years.
The Government estimates that it spends well over pound;1 billion additionally each year on processing drug law offenders through the criminal justice system.
The use cannabis of presents no harm to society (Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs 2002) but prohibition is deeply harmful to both cannabis users and society at large.