Should Cannabis use be Regulated?

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In light of the introduction this week of the Cannabis Regulation Bill 2013, Tara from Malahide discusses the advantages of legalising cannabis use.

Liberty: People deserve the right to decide whether they should use marijuana or not. The government should not decide for them. Marijuana is safer to use than tobacco and alcohol, and it is also less addictive than either. Ultimately, it should be up to the individual whether or not they should use marijuana.

Cost: If marijuana was made legal, it would save our government a lot of money. We could save billions every year if we stop wasting money putting people in prison for having marijuana. In short, the government would have more money to spend on more important causes and problems if marijuana was legalised.

Failure: Prohibition doesn’t work. The illegality of marijuana makes it easy for teenagers to obtain it from the black market. It is easier for young people to obtain marijuana than it is for them to obtain alcohol, because alcohol is regulated. If marijuana was legal and regulated, less teenagers would be able to buy it and it would lose its value to them.

Medicinal Use: Studies have shown that marijuana can be effective at destroying cancerous cells. It also has relatively mild side effects compared to other drugs, and can be used for relieving pain. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, marijuana does not harm the lungs and can even increase lung capacity. People who smoke normal tobacco cigarettes decrease their lung capacity.

Environmental Benefits:

The Hemp plant is a versatile and plant which can produce many different products.  By products of the plant can be used as building material, it is also a useful bio-fuel and an alternative to oil dependency which in turn could play a role in the reduction of carbon emissions. It can also be used to produce oil-free plastics and textiles. The growth of the hemp plant also heals the earth by regenerating the soil and removing excess CO2 from the atmosphere. In a world where global warming is a big issue, the hemp plant could help to solve the problem.