Letter: Lib Dems' drugs debate: a question of responsibility

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The Independent Online
Sir: We continually hear that cannabis is a 'sensational' drug - a term that puts its use on a par with sporting activity and places those who see it otherwise in the position of appearing negative. In fact, the 'recreational' use of cannabis brings memory loss and a lack of motivation. 'Skunk' is a type of cannabis that is so strong that it could be considered a 'hard' drug. The effects of cannabis will appear intermittently up to a week after use, as it is stored in body fat.

Why do people want to decriminalise cannabis? Is it just because a significant number of people use it? If this is their major argument, then perhaps we ought to legalise 'joy-riding' and other 'recreational' activities that offer enjoyment at the price of human pain.

The only good things that may come out of the decriminalisation debate are a realisation that the social use of legal or illegal drugs is a complex subject and that it is about time our society started to look at practical ways of pulling out of the drug culture altogether, rather than embracing it even more fully.

My organisation does believe in freedom of choices but we are also convinced that society should continue to adopt a framework which protects the weak and vulnerable, as well as offering a clear lead on positive community life.

Yours faithfully,


Executive Director

UK Band of Hope

London, SE1

20 September