How And Why I Would Legalise Cannabis
People say it funds organised crime. If it is regulated, that problem will evaporate. Already, many distributors are otherwise law abiding citizens just trying to provide a little extra income for their families.
If legalised, it would attract some high-seekers away from much more harmful and addictive substances.
It could also be taxed, raising some money for our beleaguered NHS.
I would introduce a license system. Successful applicants would be granted a license to smoke and/or grow/sell cannabis. Anyone wanting to purchase the substance would have to show their license when they get served.
A modest fee for a license would fund regulation measures, such as inspectors that make surprise visits to growers and dealers in order to ensure that customers are getting what they pay for.
A statistically small percentage of people suffer from cannabis psychosis – a rare mental health condition caused by a bad neural reaction to the consumption of tetrahydrocannabinol. People who exhibit signs or symptoms of this ailment would have their license to smoke cannabis revoked.
Anyone caught committing crime in order to fund smoking cannabis would also have their license revoked. Whether a crime is related to a perpetrator’s use of cannabis or not, revocation could be a deterrent that does not require imprisonment. People caught driving, operating dangerous machinery etc. under the influence of cannabis could risk losing their licenses too.
A strict vetting procedure would prevent licenses from being issued to gang members and other criminals.
Dealers would be able to utilise security measures such as CCTV and reinforced doors. If attacked and/or stolen from, they would be entitled to help from police and valid insurance claims. This would eliminate vigilante punishments like revenge beatings and murders.
The minimum age for smoking cannabis would be 18, or 21 if the majority of people would prefer, as THC consumption while the brain is still developing can lead to mental illness. Inspectors could employ undercover agents, including children, to attempt to purchase cannabis without a license to ensure the supply laws were being adhered to. This technique is already successfully used to combat the sale of alcohol to minors.
It can also be used in biofuel, which abates reliance on petrol and oil. This would be beneficial for the environment, as well as cutting down our dependence on foreign suppliers.
The world has a major problem with discarded plastic that could be drastically reduced by utilising hemp in biodegradable packaging. More durable paper can be manufactured from hemp too, which would lessen the practise of deforestation.
Legalising cannabis with the system I have described would benefit our economy and the environment, lower crime levels (particularly violent crimes), raise money and free up police for more important matters.
If there is public support for it, we could apply the same system to alcohol consumption (though upon its launch, I would issue a license to drink alcohol to applicants for free). Violent drunks, drunk drivers etc. would have their license to drink revoked. Alcoholics would have the option to voluntarily relinquish their licenses in order to fight their addiction.