Marijuana – less harmful than alcohol or tobacco

November 12, 2012

Marijuana – less harmful than alcohol or tobacco

Apparently the drug poses less risks to health than common legal indulgences.

A recent study by a British think tank responsible for analyzing drug use and policy has indicated that the decreased risk to health that marijuana is now understood to pose also means that the drug and its use should be decriminalised. The report claims that marijuana use is less harmful to health than either alcohol or tobacco use.

The report concludes that neither a criminal conviction nor a prison sentence are justified where an individual is found in possession of or using marijuana. The authors go so far as to recommend that the government legalise, regulate and tax the sale and use of cannabis. Failing this, they ask that the government reduce the punishment of marijuana use to fine-only penalties.

Everybody uses it

Part of the rationale surrounding the findings of this particular study is that in most developed countries most adults born in the last 50 years or so have used cannabis at least once, if not on a more regular basis. This means, claims the study, that measures which criminalise users cause great harm, are intrusive, divisive and expensive, not to mention unjust in many cases. It is used in some countries as a recognised form of pain relief, especially among those who are undergoing treatment for cancer.

The authors of this study believe that regulated availability as well as market controls such as taxation and a minimum age for use of the drug could all contribute to minimising the harmful results of cannabis use. The introduction of labelling and limiting of potency would also help to reduce these harmful side effects, meaning that the drug would be much safer for anybody using it. Currently, the drug is completely unregulated, meaning that any quality of cannabis can be sold. If the drug was regulated, the dangerous home-made resins could be outlawed and its use would be safer all round.

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