The debate: Should cannabis be legal?

Cannabis is being talked about again

It is a subject which divides as much as Brexit, public spending or grammar schools.

The question of whether cannabis use should be legal is once again on the agenda, provoked by a number of events this week.

Both its use as a medicine and for recreational purposes is being discussed.

Earlier in the week east Kent GP Ricky Allen called for the drug to be legalised.

And as the debate moves on, two Canterbury Journal writers share their thoughts on it.

Click here to read former Canterbury City Council principal planning officer Bob Britnell’s position.

And click here to read journalist Alex Claridge’s opinion.


  1. I’m sure I’m being a bit dull here, which (I hasten to add) has nothing to do with any intake of alcohol, or any other form of stimulant, legal or otherwise!
    In some situations, alcohol is used medicinally. Clinicians don’t prescribe a coupe of jars down the boozer, nor do they recommend a crisp gin & tonic (shame!) but alcohol derivatives are widely used in many branches of healthcare. Few people have a problem with this.
    As far as I’m aware, THC (the active, psychoactive component within marijuana) can be isolated. This means, that such benefits that cannabis use is said to promote, can be achieved without clinicians recommending that patients skin up and start puffing. A THC-based medicine could be given to those patients whose condition might be alleviated by such treatment. Again, I doubt many people would be too bothered by this, any more than they would be to be told that British paper bank notes already have cannabis in them! Cannabis plant stems are very fibrous and help make notes stronger and more durable.
    Moving on…
    Overdo the beers, wines, or spirits and expect health issues. All the evidence supports this. Get into a car when drunk and say cheerio to your Driving Licence. Tip up at work well-mullered and it’s likely that you’ll be fired. Unreasonable? Most people think and say not.
    The problem with recreational cannabis (in all its various forms) is that it’s not easy for medics, coppers, or employers to test intoxication levels objectively and yet the effects of using this drug are not dissimilar to the overuse of alcohol. Nobody wants stoned drivers on the road, or spaced out colleagues in the workplace, any more that we find drunkenness behind the wheel, or in the office, acceptable.
    If the UK is to follow Colorado, California and Canada and consider legalising cannabis, then with the freedom to consume this drug comes the responsibility and liability for overdoing it. Is this something which the pro lobby is prepared to accept? I do hope so because like alcohol, cannabis is a drug and you wouldn’t buy/use it if it didn’t have an effect. Making sure that this effect is manageable appears to me to be perhaps the greatest challenge within the whole dope debate.


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