Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Hypocrisy Surrounding Marijuana - an Essay

This is the essay Michael wrote as a sample to submit to the philosophy graduate department at U of A, Fayetteville. [USA /ed]

It began as a paper calling for reform on much of this country's drug policy, concerning both legal and illegal drugs. Jeff (Dr. Mitchell, my undergraduate philosophy professor and mentor) recommended that I streamline it down to just marijuana, since much of my best content concerned that particular substance.

I have excerpted just one choice morsel from this excellent, well argued - even if USA centric, essay /Blair

The Hypocrisy Surrounding Marijuana

I am of the opinion that our current policies on drugs in this country, both legal and illegal, need major reform

"Concerning harder drugs like cocaine, crack, meth, ecstasy, heroin, and LSD, it is difficult to say whether or not they should be legalized. Decriminalization is an option at least worth considering for hard drugs, since drug abuse is a social issue that is not corrected by incarcerating people because of their problem.

It is clear that our current policies on drugs are not effective. It is not clear to everyone what the answer is, but trial and error backed by an honest approach in an attempt to accurately present the facts as they are seems to be the best option.

We cannot idly sit on such a prolific, harmful social issue.

Author and philanthropist Daniel Quinn once suggested a simple idea that held much merit to my mind—why not write legislation that legalizes drugs (either all, or a select few) for a short period of time, perhaps three years? The legislation could be self-destructing, ending after a designated period of time. This would give us the much-needed opportunity to study the effects of legalizing these substances. If the results are favorable, then re-write legislation to maintain the legal status. If not, then things go back by default to the way they were. I concur with Quinn, particularly concerning marijuana.

I do not see why our democratic-based society could not engage in such progressive, experimental lawmaking"
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