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Curiously, and despite it not making any contribution to debate on the hustings, the Law Commission's enquiries on Alcohol and Other Drugs was instructive insofar as during the review process Commission(er) Warren Young said in answer to questions regarding the two most popular recreational substances under enquiry, cannabis and alcohol, "one would inform the other".
If we took as a starting point the National Drug Policy development guidelines (circa 1996) that the illicit or licit status of a drug had no bearing on the pharmacology but greatly affected the pathology one could be forgiven for wondering if the legal status of both should be reversed.
Even if the Law Commission was politically constrained in doing so, it certainly heard good evidence that could have informed the policy base but it cow-towed to international convention without argument when its study should have 'informed' the signatory status. The onus is to protect OUR health and welfare not someone else's, it was OUR inquiry after all.
130 recommendations concerning alcohol did not include one reference to the impediments to health promotion, the perceived double standards that apply to cannabis, ironically identified by the Brian Neeson lead (National Party) Health Select Committee inquiry of 1998.
There is the debate we should be having.
Made all the more important now that we learn from one of the most robust epidemiological studies ever undertaken that shows that 1/3rd of the entire population of the USA is 'protected' from alcohol related harm where ever medicinal cannabis has become du jour. (9% reduction in alcohol related road deaths.)
Good grief, and we had an election that saw Don Brash snubbed for mentioning cannabis!
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Blair Anderson http://mildgreens.blogspot.com