Profile picture
Ben Kelly @TheScepticIsle
, 31 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter

Reasons that the UK should pursue a policy of full legalisation of Cannabis.
Full disclosure. I smoked Cannabis nearly daily for around ten years. I like it. However, I quit it because it was badly aggravating my poor mental health, causing mood swings & exarcabated my natural laziness & demotivated me. I do not take this subject lightly, nor should you.
After quitting (which was very hard as i'd developed an emotional dependence & it was part of my routine) I felt healthier, happier & my moods became far more balanced. I'm qualifying my thread with this because, again, it's important to note I am very aware of the downsides.
I also know others who experienced bad panic and anxiety attacks because of it, even paranoid delusions. It ranges widely in strenghth, but Cannabis is a powerful psychoactive drug which can be detrimental to mental health (not great for the old lungs either)
People who are heavy smokers are often sensitive to these criticisms and live in a state of defensive denial. They are wrong. Anyway....

So, why legalise it?
Cannabis is, for all intents and purposes, practically decriminalised in the UK. Its informal, but de facto. It is smoked in the streets and in parks openly, at festvals etc Many police forces are clear that they do not consider this a priority & don't enforce the law.
Neither me, nor others I know who have smoked it for years, nor any of the dealers I have ever met, have ever ran into trouble with the police. When I worked for a social care charity with drug users & offenders, their use/possession of Cannabis never led to charges
Turning a blind eye is a poor way of maintaining respect for the rule of law. It is still illegal. It is my view that laws should be enforced. If they are not to be enforced then they should be repealed. Otherwise the law is an ass and people take it less seriously.
Those who think it should be illegal & worry legalising it will lead to it being widely used and being percieved as socially acceptable do not seem to understand the stable door has been open for some time. God knows where that horse is.
In the UK Cannabis is hugely popular and there is very little social stigma about its use. The black market in Cannabis is massive and worth millions. Unless you live out in the sticks, you are probably always less than a few miles away from a dealer. It's over. You lost.
Clamping down on its use now would take a gargantuan effort now - a hugely illiberal crack down would have to be implemented, using vast resources. I doubt it would have public support and I frankly don't see the point of it. The vast majority of users are harmless.
So, Cannabis is a very widely used & enjoyed natural product which causes less harm than legally accessible products. The harms it does cause, & it does cause harm, are best addressed with it as a legal product, rather than an easily obtainable illegal product.
Legalisation will bring in tax revenue, which should be directed into underfunded mental health services & also education about the potential adverse health effects of Cannabis.
A lega, regulated market will also mean that Cannabis products can be properly labelled so that consumers know what they are buying.

A word on "skunk".
A lot of people talk laughable nonsense about so called "skunk". Over decades clever people have worked on increasing the strength of Cannabis as if they were working on the cure for cancer. Thus often doesn't give the light, slightly hazy effect of the Cannabis of the 60s/70s
For evidence go to Amsterdam and watch tourists pass out in the street, faint or flake out in cafes looking pale and scared. It can be pretty heavy going!
But there is nothing new about skunk, it isn't some recent scare, and isn't something people accidentally buy. Like 99% of the market is now so-called skunk - driven by consumer demand. Legalisation is not going to get rid of skunk. Buying the weaker "weed" variety is unusual.
However, legalisation will allow Cannabis products to be properly labelled meaning consumers will know exactly what they are buying & strong products can come with the necessary cautions. There could even by THC limits. Buyer beware!
This will be then similar to the alcohol market, in which we know the strengths and can make that choice in total awareness. It can be pot luck in the illegal market.

Imagine buying alcohol blind to its potency!
Legalisation will actually make the milder varieties easier to access and more widely available - giving the consumer a choice and reducing the risks.
By legalising the Cannabis the black market will be greatly diminished (though not fully eliminated). This will cut A LOT of funding for organised crime, reduce risk for consumers & prevent peope who just want a weed coming into contact with dealers who also sell harder stuff
A lot of dealers who sell Cannabis also sell everything from Coke to Heroin. All over the country you have perfectly harmless Cannabis users meeting dodgy dealers in cars, on corners, in their home - better from a safe shop or a website. HARM REDUCTION PEOPLE!
Will legalisation increase use? Impossible to say - though it's absolutely all over the place already. Are there risks considering how it can adversely effect mental health? Yes, but again they are better addressed openly with Cananbis as a legal product.
Awareness of the health risks will increase when the market is legal - with the products themselves carrying cautions, and education forming part of governmetn drug policy.
Police resources could concentrate on further restriction on the black market and ensuring it stays out of the hands of children and teenagers - who are at the greatest risks because of their vulnerability and because their brains are still developing
Conclusion. The wide use & sale of Cannabis will be extremely difficult to clamp down on now & the necessary illiberal & aggressive policy would likely not have public support. Public support of legalisation is however increasing.
Legalisation will allow policy to focus on harm reduction. Products being clearly labelled on potency. Education & info on health risks. An upsurge in vaping products will decrease the smoking of Cannabis as it has with tobacco. etc
A legal market disempowers criminal gangs and defunds them, it will greatly reduce the black market & free up police resources to concentrate on managing whats left of it & keeping it away from young people.
It will increase tax revenue which can be used for beneficial purposes - like mental health services & harm reduction.
That's all. I've said I don't take this lightly, despite my liberal outlook/principles - I acknowledge the complexity of the issue but have conisdered it carefully over years. Will only reply to considered responses. End
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Ben Kelly
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!