Of course, it should, it's ridiculous that its not. They have no idea how much damage they are creating by leaving it illegal. Legalise and keep it controlled and clean.
Garin Hughes - Dolgellau, Wales
Why don't we try taking a completely new approach to cannabis? Around three million people in Britain are regular users and whatever we do we're not going to be able to stop them. We waste billions every year on police, court and prison resources when a large proportion of society uses cannabis without any problem at all. In fact, the only real problem with cannabis is that it's illegal.
The risks to health are very small - much, much less than alcohol or tobacco. By a recent analysis of mortality, hospital admissions, toxicity and propensity to psychosis, cannabis is nearly 3,000 times safer than alcohol. Why not introduce a tax and regulate system and realise the benefits?
That way, we would have a properly regulated supply chain with no criminals involved, no theft of electricity, no human trafficking, no destruction of property and disruption of neighbourhoods. Then there would be some control over this huge market. There would be thousands of new jobs, sales would be from licensed outlets to adults only with guaranteed quality and safety. Then our police could start going after some real wrongdoing, instead of trying to fight a crime that exists only because of a misguided government policy.
Also, very importantly, science now proves that cannabis is one of the safest and most effective medicines for a wide range of conditions. While the government promotes the lie that 'there is no medicinal value in cannabis', it has granted an unlawful monopoly to to grow 20 tonnes a year for, you guessed it, medicine.
Cannabis Law Reform - CLEAR - published independent research on September 14 2011, that shows a cannabis tax and regulate regime would provide a net gain to the UK Exchequer of £6.7bn per annum as well as reducing all health and social harms.The only thing that keeps the present absurd status quo in place is weak politicians corrupted by big booze and the pharma monopoly.
Peter Reynolds - CLEAR
The fact that cannabis is illegal in the first place shows such horrible intentions by the people who have the power to change the law. Obviously, they are benefiting financially in some shape or form by keeping it illegal. Weed is a super drug that can be used for so much good and anybody with half a brain knows this.
Elliot Booth - Bingley
I am both a incomplete paraplegic and a Christian, I use cannabis for pain but my elders scold me for using it due to its legal status. This disappoints me, because alcohol is far more destructive to families and society. And most stoners 'can't be bothered' committing crime, because they would rather have a good laugh, listen to music and 'get the munchies'. What's so immoral about that?
It's not the drug that's bad, it is the fools that use it. Evil people will be evil whether they are high or not, while normal people will usually continue to live peacefully and abide by the law. We need to remember that drugs are medicine and abusing any medication can be destructive or fatal. May it be decriminalised one day, peace to you all.
Robert Lee Croft - Fleetwood, England
Legalise regulate and tax. Prohibition has never and will never work. The income provided and expense saved by this simple measure would transform the economy for ordinary people. We are grown ups and should be allowed to choose our vices providing nobody is harmed. The real evidence is there for all to see yet governments and corporations are hell bent on keeping the truth from people with unfounded and sinister propaganda.
We have the right to choose how we live our lives. Criminalising those who choose cannabis is costing everyone a fortune and, worse, it's making it easier for children to get hold of cannabis while planting the income firmly in the pockets of organised criminal gangs. Gangs who do not care about there customers. I am not a user nor an advocate for use. However, I see children in the school I work in who find it easier to buy cannabis than it is for them to buy matches with which to light a joint. This situation is ridiculous. A new approach and a trial of legalise, regulate and tax would cause no harm and could be reversed if the worst fears of the naysayers are realised. It is time to let people choose.
Bob zalinski - Wales
Yes, if alcohol and tobacco are legal then so should cannabis be - but treated in a different way. It should not be sold in supermarkets and off-licences like tobacco and alcohol, it should be sold in dispensaries or Dutch-style coffee shops. Making sure costumers have valid ID should be of great importance, along with secure environments and the quality of the cannabis. Most people dont understand that some of the negative effects young people experience on cannabis can be boiled down to the lack of CBD in street cannabis. CBD is an anti-psychotic cannabinoid, along with many more medicinal benefits. Some criminal growers harvest early, for whatever reason, and this causes a lack in CBD which is said to fully develop in the last two weeks of flowering. So street cannabis has trace amounts of CBD and high THC levels. If grown properly most will not experience anything unintended or negative.
So introducing rich CBD strains is of great importance. But then again, even the lowest CBD highest THC ratio cannot be compared to the destruction and death alcohol and tobacco cause. It's not illegal because its harmful - it's illegal because of personal prejudices, the power of the Alcohol lobby, the political agenda and the money prohibition makes. Nothing to do with science, evidence, expert advice or our safety.
Prohibition's underlying ideology is based on fear, hate, envy, and greed - leading universally and invariably to abject failure, economic collapse, sickness and war. Ending prohibition would greatly reduce, even almost eliminate, the market in illegal narcotics. It would cause a reduction in the number of users and addicts, greatly curtail drug-related illness and deaths, reduce societal harm from problematic abusers and bring about an enormous reduction in the presence and influence of organised crime. The people who use drugs are our own children, our brothers, our sisters, our parents and our neighbours. By allowing all adults safe and controlled legal access to psychoactive substances, we will not only greatly reduce the dangers for both them and ourselves - but also greatly minimise the possibility of 'peer-initiation' and sales to minors.
Never have so many been harmed and impoverished by so few, so quickly. Prohibition is not just an extremely expensive accident. Like any harmful and completely ineffective policy, it was connived and implemented by immoral, malicious, fools. It cannot be ended soon enough.
After many decades of drug-war-dystopia, don't we all deserve a healthy, safe and prosperous future? Just say no to prohibition-insanity, prohibition-corruption, prohibition-violence and prohibition-terrorism.
Malcolm Kyle - Totnes, United Kingdom
We also need to look at the damage legally prescribed medications do, especially to the livers of long term pain relief users. My body is being stuffed with chemicals daily just so I can have a little relief. Using cannabis gives a lot more pain relief and using it without tobacco through a vaporiser means it is also doing a lot less damage. It's time this country got its act together and its facts right.
Elly - Norfolk, UK
We should've come to this stage years back. Of course it should be dispensed and taxed. It would boost the economy, take power away from the criminals and the press can then stop the propoganda.
Jamie - South Wales
If the government regulated cannabis like they did alcohol and tobacco, and other harmful drugs, then at least people will know what they are smoking/eating/vaporising. At the moment, the government is doing absolutely nothing to protect people from the dangers of all illegal drugs.
And what about the kids? When i was 15, I would wait hours outside a shop trying to get someone to buy me a cheap bottle of cider knowing full well I can just call a friend and have a bag of weed/coke/heroin delivered to my doorstep in 10 minutes. Why? Becuase dealers dont ask for ID.
No name supplied
Just look at the scientific reasearch, that's all I'm going to say.
Because, really, there has never been a single good reason to make it illegal in the first place.
Alexander Kundrat - Italy
If cannabis were legal and had coffeshops, it would boost the economy by far and create jobs. I like many others much rather a joint than a pint, a lot of people dont drink at all but would appreciate being able to go to a coffeeshop and purchase prime clean cannabis and watch the football with a nice coffee and let the government cash in on it. You wont see me in Starbucks paying £3 for a coffee, you wont see me in a pub paying £3 for a pint, but you will see me and many others go to a cannabis coffeeshop and pay £3 for a coffee with £10 gram of mango haze cannabis for sure - peacefully with no drunken idiots. Pubs are closing by the dozen daily, many spend £0 on alcohol but would happily spend thier money on soft drinks as long as cannabis was available. And the funny thing is, we wouldnt care if David Cameron was cashing in on it as we know it makes sense.
Rob Price - Cardiff
i do think it should be legalised. There would be less crime and fighting on the streets becauce it chills everyone out. So please if you really are listening to us all, legalise it now.
Sabrina - Blackpool
For Marijuana to be legalised, we would need to beat the drum, and start the revolution.
Andrew Groves - Reading
If crime reduction was our main focus then all drugs would be legalised, which would of course make them dirt cheap, pure and clean. I would rather see a government-controlled programme for addicts than the horrific situation that they now face on the streets etc. The present system of prohibition is a pathetic attempt to pretend all is under control, while a thriving blackmarket continues to enjoy the exorbitant profits - which of course fuel corruption etc.
As for cannabis being legalised, of course it should be. That way it is all above board, controlled and clean. Any government that allows the criminals to guide quality control of the drugs that our children/loved ones use proves their negligence.
Ashka - Australia
What scares me is the amount of violent crime and binge drinking that goes on in our country today. People drinking without any care for their health, their safety or the safety of others and legalising cannabis will reduce alcohol use by up to 25 per cent - as shown in a study by Professor Nutt. I note that Peter Reynolds of Clear has posted below. Love his site some great stuff on their website.
Lewis - South East
It should not be legalised.
Jose4 - Presidio, TX
The questions are: 1. Are you for liberty or tyranny? 2. Are you for individual responsibility or for dependency on the government to run our lives for us? If you let the United Nations have their way, they will take away our guns and reverse the trend to legalise marijuana.
So while we have sanctions against Iran to try to get their people to rise up against the dictator, we have the dictator of Iran supporting the United Nations to criminalise the private possession of guns.
You need to take a look at the bigger picture. This is not only about whether we should be 'allowed' to smoke marijuana, it is about whether we 'allow' the government to create the enviornment that led to the rise of the Nazis.
Jose - Texas
There is an important point everyone seems to miss and that is that there are really ywo different drugs we are talking about here. There are the high THC sativa strains and the lower THC strains with higher levels of CBD. Injecting anyone with pure THC will cause them to have a psychotic episode.
As well as the pleasant 'high' feeling, THC often causes paranoia and anxiety, whereas CBD is actually an anti-psychotic, as well has having many medical applications. Unfortunately, due to prohibition, most cannabis sold on the streets has been genetically modified over the generations to be a super-strong strains that are very high in THC and low in CBD.
If cannabis were completely legalised (not just decriminalised) and was able to be bought in high-street shops, buyers strains would be able to be labelled with the side effects of each strain written down. In other words, they will be able to know which strain they are buying and the negative effects such as paranoia and psychosis can be avoided. This does not happen from mere 'de-penalisation' where it is still drug dealers selling the cannabis.
Matthew Jones - Cambridge, UK
Cannabis should never have been made illegal in the first place. Not that many people smoke it, so it's easy for moralising politicians to vilify this minority as social outcasts. Cannabis prohibition is built on a huge pack of sensational lies.
James Morgan - Den Bosch, the Netherlands
And of course all the arguments advanced for legalisation apply equally, if not more so, to so-called 'class A' drugs.
Crazy Hippie - London
The herb comes from mother nature. It's not for man to judge another man over its use or over its growth. If it is spoken as illegal man will use it. If it is spoken as legal man will use it. If it is spoken as free man will use it and be free.
stinky - Bournemouth, UK
I have never drank or done drugs, it's just doesnt interest me as I have seen the damage it does first hand. But what I will say is that I much rather be around people who are high on cannabis the someone who is drunk. I feel safer, ha I dont have to see humanity at its worst on a Friday night at 3 am in Dublin city centre.
There is no doubt that the current law on cannabis is causing alot more problems, time and money than the dangers of cannabis itself. At the end of the day, people have used cannabis for thousands of years and always - no matter what the law is. People should not be prevented from this amazing plant that thousands of years of evolution gave us.
Sean - Ireland