Laws Ineffective in Curbing Cannabis Use: Experts

Laws against cannabis have failed to cut its use around the world and have led to policies that are intrusive, socially divisive and expensive, according to an international group of drug policy experts.

In a book published on Tuesday looking at cannabis policies, the experts said that, while the drug harmed some users, it had only a modest effect on society, where cocaine and alcohol were potentially more damaging.

“It is time for governments around the world to readdress cannabis policy,” Peter Reuter, a professor of public policy at the University of Maryland in the United States and one of the book’s five co-authors, told Reuters in an interview.

Scientific research has suggested smoking cannabis can double the risk of developing psychosis. A study published in the British Medical Journal last month found people who smoked “skunk” — a potent form of cannabis — are almost seven times more likely to develop psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia than those who smoke “hash,” or cannabis resin.

Reuter said authorities should acknowledge “growing evidence that criminalization of use is a minor deterrent” and recognize the importance of developing “responsible ways of managing supply, rather than creating large illegal markets.”

He said the increasing potency of cannabis being sold on the street in many Western countries was one of his major concerns. “What we really need is a safer was way in which people can buy the drug, rather than leaving it to an illegal market which is producing a drug that is strong and stronger,” he said.

“It’s an additional but increasingly important argument for why we have to face up to working out how to provide a regulated market for cannabis.”

The book, called “Cannabis Policy: Moving Beyond Stalemate,” was published by Britain’s Oxford University Press and the Beckley Foundation, a charity that favors regulating rather the criminalizing drugs.

“Prohibitionist policies not only fail to meet their objectives but have inflicted significant social harms in the process,” said Amanda Feilding of the Beckley Foundation.

Despite laws against its use, up to 190 million people around the world use cannabis, according to U.N. estimates, which equates to about 4 percent of the global adult population.

The authors said vast numbers of arrests for possession of cannabis in countries such as Britain, Switzerland and the United States had had little deterrent effect but caused social division and pointless government expense.

– Article from Reuters on January 25, 2010.

Comments

5 Comments

  1. Anonymous on

    I am not an expert but I just want to let people know out there that I have myself written a 1 page book titled
    “My Cannabis Policy: Moving beyond waiting for f…. governments to do something about marijuana cause I need my medicine badly”

  2. Country Lines Divide People and Awareness on

    England etc. tend to have an extreme damp climate I highly doubt that growers in the bRuTISH isles are not using toxic artificial agrichemicals. In addition some may find it interesting that g.w. p.harmah and the us de a are connected with a guy who went to Amsterdam and was credited with infecting the culture with bizarre industrial hybrids such as skunk mainly and maybe some others or else some further hybrids of it, i think maybe skpunkman steve? and flyin dushmen (spell wrong so what?) now beautiful indigenous populations cultivated by the great mother nature herself with the help of locals in some occasions are under threat of genetic pollution with sometimes therapeutically worthless sometimes potentially harmful for the occasional vulnerable person harmful but definitely unbalanced.
    But hey worst comes to worst we could never let the locals develop landraces that would survive without mold outdoors in dark and gloomy depressing brightland sativas maybe? Wouldn’t want the worlds most economically unballanced nation to have any equal opportunity or attractive wages for the average commoner aka skum. Never loose the great divide that keeps the normals where they belong under the heels of the elite. So just in case, we’ll have the 3rd world produce cheap to transport also theraputically inferior press in relative slavery conditions the same way we do now with coca and opiates for phrmacutic use etc. Gotta love the free world. But hey lets not stop there, besides heavy metal and pcb and parisite contaminated seafood the british really don;t eat anything else very healthy, they have been eating industrial sterile healthy-symbiotically-void nutrient destructed oxidized anti-oxidant-toasted semi-rancid high starch high sugar often poor raw-food-percentage diet. Not to mention. Dampest weather on the planet if there ever was a contraindication anticlimactically speaking that might be it, but honestly thc helps your body use water so that’s not likely the worst thing, though mold in their bodies is possible, and mold from smoking moldy pot and pesticides both fuck you up seriously and that is proven. Incidentally processed foods alcohol caffeine sugar low-raw fibre low antioxidant moldy pesticide industrially polluted pcb heavy metal polluted sick animals eating people with retarted growing methods and polluted genetics care of a careful conspiracy by the worst liberal democracies on the planet that have both historically displayed the most industrai corporatist the most racist the most world dominating the most obsessed with control the most intollerant the most economically insane the most unsustainable the most greedy empires on earth who obviously had the most to lose with their artificial chemical knockoff global monopolies, again I don;t blame the heads of state more than the fact they are too pussy to admit to the world they are being anally raped by corporations britain has more than 400 secret gag orders forbiding media to even disclose the subject or the fact they are gagged about something. monarchies must go, at least the unfair ones, namely the only one I can see responsible for turning our planet we live on into a industial wasteland so they dump waste from their artificial chemical wealth to the 3rd world who they keep down so low with oppressive global economics that those people can’t even make laws against toxic dumping. You really give a flying – * U (n) C K ?! what their institutions say, you really believe this uncredible source of information. Not that I wan’t it stricken from the record of history, but I don’t want people thinking too highly of the wording they use, since it is quite from a blind perspective, If you know nothing else, how can you sanely possibly contrast your observations with what normally would happen in the majority of the rest of the world. Arguably however modern research, the thorough actually scientific type the type that acknowledges questions as well as unanswered questions as important, has found that there are primary factors, social factors that in spite of any or all biologic or physiologic factors, there is these social incubators for mental illness that are alleviated by providing a healthy social mental environment, and upon return of the individuals to their previous environment the ones that incubated their various mental problems, subsequently redeveloped their diseases, surprised, well the same would happen if you thought of a type of weather climates that would make you sick, sometimes a sudden shift can do it other times some things are just plain so extremely strainuous to the organism that they weaken the orgainsm into an effective shock like state, which is pathologically serious when it becomes chronic. no pun intended. but if you had half a brain you would have to wonder why the rest of the world through all of time never noticed this and the opposite is usually true. they are racist against a plant, and they are such a dumb culture that they do everything dumb, what else could possibly happen in this incubator, it’s totally predictable. sad but true. may their growing pains be over within our lifetimes, i’m starting to get sick of their retarted whining, most retards are helped by cannabis, maybe they need some good landrace organics from dry climates with no mold and artifical chemicals. may as well throw some milk thistle in between meals, and some raw whole hemp seed and ditch the addictions namely the caffeine, im sure the booze isn’t great either and cigarettes full of industrial chemical addatives and vinyl alochol and chalk and plastic sugar antifreeze etc im sure that’s a great peace pipe… get a life industrialists, you will be the cause of your own undoing, we see it, the world’s economic survival can not tolerate your stupid artificial behavioural pollution. Ever wondered why the german chemical firms survived the country’s supposed economic collapse during and post ww II ? guess they were making sweet deals with global industrialists the whole time, fanta ibm basf etc note the chemists where the ones who invented artificial warfare as we know it and armed the police states of the world we are so apparently overrun by,, they hate the herb because it is what they stole their markets for everything from. the original industrial substance, but a relatively peaceful and enlightened by comparison one, oh yeah and the need for artifishy chemies to pharm it? yeah? no, i don’t think so. no word of a lie. what is this the 80’s have they been under a rock since the acid wore off and the rest of the world still carried on without them? no offence to the peasant classes or the commoners, but these are academics, purporting to be experts on something so simple as the herb which does not require expertise to know or to use safely without fear, the one most of all plants on the planet, who are these men writing no re-writing the history the nature of a plant be they gods or demons. elitists, supremacists. holding their titles over our heads, do they really think were that dumb. man those elitists are dumb. some times I laugh briefly in sheer disbelief. nasal hmm- f ! and a once right to left to right shake of the head simultaneously. i think these authors of the book must be christ. they must be anointed. they are true seekers of wisdom, they know all and see all, true shamans, feer mongering sons of a queen mother-f.. no wait he was a pothead too, I can;t even think of an insult for these types of social elitists, even the prince is better than them, but I guess that could be a ruse since the power of the empire has allways been married to the wealth of the empire, the economic power, and the power that ensures that it operates smoothly over the people in a secretly unfree society. I don’t trust the british royals, though on the surface they seem like nice people, and maybe the corporations seem nowadays to have taken on a life of their own, english renamed german names at some point in the last millenium possibly not too far into it, to remove any evidence of “dirty bad evil” germans in their ranks, the fact that they have allways intermarried, that most of europe had been historically middle ages etc, been engaged to one another monarchistically and nobility wise for power relationships treaties were signed with kisses in the days prior to the pretty face they place us dupes these days. those were families in control of a continent maybe more, at exactly what stage did oppressive power vaporise? can matter or energy be destroyed? rant rant rant.. ok now im bored mental disorder batman cartoon is distracting me, no seriously thuogh its late I gootta go to bed, and this is one hell of a run on sentence so.. its been sweet yall
    Sweet Dreams are made of … you guessing it
    s p l e r i f i c a l a f r a g l e i s t i c e x p e d i a t e a l a d o s e i o u s !
    ohhhh, yeah! Some day when the need subsides, I swear I will stop trying so hard. Especially when it’s for no bloody reason. (Read with rrrolling rrr’s for propper effect, and a smidge of smirking semi loud sarcasm).
    Good night world.
    I hope you wake up eventually.
    Not you the reader, but the world of unenlightened haze that you will be joining in the group meditation to beam a good message in concert, to effect change. Hey how bout we meditate for the good conversion at 4:20 for 4 minutes and twenty seconds at least. Not just the good meditation for the local space, but the conversion, the healing of the sick, so they will have something to tune in to, to come toward, if they should be inclined to seek, when they seek they will have a space to come.Back to basics. Ok for real peace out peeps. My guts hurt from these stupid thoughts, and the hard work of changing it all, better take my medicine. heh heh ha ha hah! mmm yeah.. ok it really hurts now i gotta peace it for real!
    p.s. It was just gas, and then I took a deep breath.. ok bye
    maybe peppermint will help, or I can just remember it really good might work too… posture helps too, relax oh yeah that’s what else is wrong with up tight elitists, they’re uptight, no wonder they drink so they don’t notice it, loosen that collar till you loose it.. gawd how lame tension is the origin of disease mental and physical its not like the green tea and the lotus posture in the east its a bunch of chemgun toting pissed world slavedriving dominator guys who smoke fags.. l8r
    don’t worry or get discouraged, I promise I won’t do this type of ramble rant unless I’ve got something fresh to drop.
    keep up the good work. keep the lines as open as possible. this will be a war for consciousness, it is the information age after all. non violence and freeze peach, protect freeze peach. be careful, it is a real experience this information age, it is a real batl and losses can be real in it. be reserved. be cautious, be wise, be precise. operate with clear intent. love the world and those in it. maybe the universe too, but yeah..

  3. top44 on

    it sounds like the ones who want to take over the market are worried they will need to reduce the potency and strength, another reason not to legalize, it will be ruined if the government controls it and yes brainwashed info, “skunk” too strong!

  4. Jbird on

    Pretty sure hash and its derivatives are more potent than any skunk I’ve had….

  5. Anonymous on

    WHAT??!!?? THEY JUST FIGURED THIS OUT!! FUCK OUR SO CALLED LEADERS ARE RETARDS!!!!!!