Letter: Decriminalisation of marijuana

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your leading article 'A drug law that promotes crime' (2 October) is depressingly nave. It is probably true that a disproportionate amount of police time is being spent dealing with cannabis offences. However, once an activity is decriminalised, the implication is that it is condoned by the government and society.

This is what Commander John Grieve is suggesting when he talks about, in the words of your leading article, the need 'to license and control the supply of all drugs'. If you do this, you are giving the individual a licence to damage himself and others. Smoking cannabis is not always the first step to taking more addictive drugs, but it can be. Why give weak and vulnerable people more rope with which to hang themselves?

We should be following the example of the US and investing more money in building up and advertising treatment centres for drug addicts and alcoholics. Instead, national papers, such as yours, suggest making the problem 'manageable'. Drugs can never be 'manageable'. You are touting a pretentious and irresponsible theory under the guise of a rational approach.

Yours faithfully,

N. J. WILLIS

London, NW6

2 October

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