So the big news in the weed world right now is of course that of the UK government apparently gearing up for its first meaningful discussion and debate on the subject of cannabis decriminalisation in that pretty much forever. The petition was filed, the signature list grew in excess of 200,000 and backers of a change in the law are popping up all over the place.
Nevertheless, it’s in exactly these times that equally abundant critics creep out of the woodwork and once again voice a thousand and one ill-conceived and unfounded arguments against weed legalisation. Unsurprisingly, perhaps the single most commonly-voiced criticism of all is that of marijuana’s apparent existence as a potential scourge on society, a hugely harmful drug, a gateway drug that leads to the use of even more harmful drugs and a substance which in all respects represents an extreme and unacceptable danger to the nation’s youth.
If you need to leave for a moment to grab yourself a barf bag, feel free.
Nevertheless, it never helps to get too fired up and aggressively defensive when it comes to countering the arguments of naysayers as the simple fact of the matter is that it is the weed community that has science and reason on its side. This is a great time to revisit an important study for which the findings were published a little earlier this year.
Even today in an age when science and hard evidence should dictate when and how these kinds of decisions are made, there is still a quite hilarious lack of logic and balance. When a team of researchers set out to draw a line under exactly whether or not weed could be considered even remotely as harmful as alcohol, even they had no idea that in a wholly scientific sense, marijuana is in fact 114 times less harmful than booze.
This isn’t a theory, it’s a fact.
It’s therefore almost impossible to believe that the United Kingdom is still living in an era where cannabis is considered a class B drug, having been bumped up from its previous classification in 2009 when it was declared a bigger danger than alcohol. And of course, the fact that this all went on while much of the world was finally starting to accept and explore the incredible potential benefits of cannabis is all the more depressing.
But what’s perhaps most depressing of all is the reality of how it would be if things were the other way around and alcohol was the so-called ‘new’ drug threatening society. If this was the case, each and every tabloid would be consumed entirely with printing scare stories about this devastating drug which on a daily, even hourly basis was leading to fatal health problems, violence on the streets, hideously antisocial behaviour, domestic violence, massive depression and so on and so forth – all of which just so happened to be 100% scientifically backed tales of terror.
Of course this isn’t the case at all as while all of the above is entirely true, alcohol is not only permitted, but can be advertised and glamorised to such an extent that pretty much every kid hitting their teenage years cannot wait to hit the bottle. Suffice to say, the vast fortune in taxes all of this contributes to the government doesn’t harm things either.
So what we’re left with is a situation where a substance that is 114 times more dangerous and harmful than cannabis is as accepted, tolerated and indeed celebrated as anything else on the market. By contrast, evidence continues to mount that cannabis has the potential to be nothing less than beneficial, yet it takes hundreds of thousands of people to pretty much force the government into even entertaining the notion of a policy change.
Regardless of personal opinions on the matter, there’s really no debating the fact that to continue ignoring the facts would be detrimental for all involved.