Every now and again, an individual in a prominent and influential position speaks out in favour of cannabis legalisation and we all breathe a big sigh of relief. Unfortunately, it is routine for such comments to be immediately followed by many of weird and wacky statements from critics, who seem to believe they know more about the subject than the world’s leading doctors, scientists, researchers and cannabis users.
Which is why the latest example while extremely disappointing, isn’t exactly what you’d call surprising. It’s no secret that the United Kingdom is falling quite spectacularly behind the rest of the world when it comes to medical marijuana policy, but the time really has come to start being a little more realistic about the subject.
Just a few days ago, crime commissioner Arfon Jones – one of the most prominent police bosses in the United Kingdom – stated that to keep cannabis under its current Class B drug status really doesn’t make sense at all. It’s counterproductive, given the way in which there are tens of thousands of people across the country who could benefit massively from legalised medical marijuana. And it’s not as if he is alone in his sentiments, either. So, he made the decision to reach out to a number of other prominent figures, in order to see how many were on his side and would help campaign for positive progress.
Unfortunately, one particular Tory AM by the name of Darren Miller decided not only to lash out at the idea quite viciously, but also demonstrate to the world how little he himself knows about the subject. He spoke of the utter “disappointment” he felt but the fact that Jones had even brought the subject up in the first place, going on to spout all manner of nonsense regarding cannabis in general.
"(Mr Jones) knows first-hand the damaging effects drugs is having on our communities, so it was with some surprise and disappointment that I received his letter,” he said.
"Cannabis, whether used for medicinal or recreational purposes, is a dangerous substance and would have catastrophic consequences to health and society if it was ever legalised.”
“The commissioner’s calls are as reckless as they are misguided."
Now, you really don’t have to be a genius to figure out that there are quite a few glaring errors with this particular statement. First of all, there is the way in which he seems to be completely ignoring the fact that Jones is talking exclusively about the legalisation of medical marijuana, which would be controlled and regulated in the same way as any other prescription drug. He is not, for one second, suggesting that recreational cannabis be legalised in the United Kingdom.
Secondly, he describes medical marijuana as a dangerous substance and talks about the catastrophic effects it can have on communities. Once again, all this does is demonstrate the fact that he does not know what he’s talking about. Right now, a full 25 North American states permit the production, distribution and consumption of medical marijuana for those deemed to be in need of it. Likewise, plenty of other countries globally have been using medical marijuana for years. And in doing so, it has been discovered and confirmed that cannabis performs over and above conventional drugs in the treatment of a wide variety of chronic conditions.
But no…as far as Miller is concerned, all of these people – tens of millions of them globally – are lying to themselves. Cannabis has no redeeming qualities whatsoever and is instead simply a dangerous drug that leads to the downfall of society.
It’s blinkered and nonsensical viewpoints like this that are preventing the United Kingdom from making the same kind of progress as the rest of the world.