Drugs Should Be Legalised But Not for My Children

  Drugs Should Be Legalised But Not for My Children

Posted by FoM on November 21, 2001 at 20:42:15 PT
By Tom Kemp 
Source: Daily Telegraph 

In my youth, I used to think that one of the consolations of growing older would be that I would become more settled in my opinions.The middle aged and the old always seemed to be so much more sure about things than I was, and I longed to be like them. For one thing, I would be much better able to hold my head up in arguments if I spoke from unshakeable conviction. 
For another, it would make the job of writing opinionated articles in the newspapers a whole lot easier if I was absolutely sure what I thought about the subject under discussion.But now I have reached middle age, and I have found that nothing of the sort has happened to me. Or, rather, I find that I do have more opinions, and I hold them more passionately than I used to; the trouble is that I often have two opinions on one subject - both fervently held, but one diametrically opposed to the other.Drugs are a case in point. I strongly believe two things about legalising cannabis and ecstasy: one, that it is an excellent idea; and two, that the very thought of it is appalling. Catch me at a dinner party with my liberal hat on, and I will spew out at least a dozen good reasons why these drugs should be legalised. After a glass or two of wine, I may even argue that all drugs should be legalised, including heroin and crack cocaine.I will tell you that a whole lot of nonsense is talked about drugs, and that it is just plain silly to go on telling teenagers that to take cannabis or ecstasy is to set out on a path that will lead inevitably to degradation and death.I know lots of people who have been taking cannabis for 30 years and more, who do not seem to have suffered much from it. True, some of them seem rather stupider and slower-witted than the rest of us, but in my experience they were pretty stupid to start with. I also know people who have taken much more dangerous drugs such as heroin, and given them up without any trouble - certainly without becoming the shivering wrecks that you see in the anti-drug advertisements on television.Yes, some deaths have been caused by ecstasy, but mercifully very few. It is much more dangerous to cross the road than to take an ecstasy pill, and teenagers know this. They are not as thick as most people seem to think. The more we adults tell them that taking ecstasy is dicing with death, the more they will call us liars.Still in liberal mode, I will go on to say that legalising drugs is a matter of individual liberty. If alcohol and nicotine are allowed - and between them they must be responsible for many more deaths than all other drugs put together - then why not cannabis and ecstasy? It is a fundamental human right to harm ourselves without interference from the government, if that is what we wish to do.Ah, you will answer, but drug abusers harm others, and not only themselves. A huge number of burglaries and muggings are committed by drug addicts to feed their habit. To that, I will answer that addicts are driven to crime for the very reason that the drugs they take are illegal. This not only keeps the price very high, but it means that the trade in drugs is controlled by criminal gangs. Legalise all drugs, and you can be sure that the crime rate will fall overnight. Prices will come down and the gangsters will be driven out of business. What is more, the police will be freed to concentrate on more important matters than arresting people for selling and possessing drugs.All this I strongly believe. But the maddening thing is that I also believe the opposite. Ask me what I think, as the father of four boys aged eight to 16, and I will tell you that it is a terrible idea to legalise drugs.With my paternal hat on, I will say that I would be extremely worried and upset if I found an ecstasy pill or a packet of Rizla papers in my 16-year-old's bedroom. If I found a syringe there, I would be beside myself with anxiety.To the question, "Would your boys be more likely, or less, to take narcotics if they were legalised?" I would have to answer, "More". And if you asked what I thought about that idea, I would say that it horrified me.The liberal in me would argue that it is nonsense to say that cannabis and ecstasy lead on inevitably to harder drugs. Lots of those who took soft drugs in their youth - and I was one of them - were never remotely tempted to try anything harder. On the other hand, the few people I know who take hard drugs all started with cannabis, and worked their way up from there. Cannabis introduced them to a druggy frame of mind and a druggy circle of friends. I do not want my sons to get into that frame of mind or to move in those circles.I will not pretend that it was my fear of the law that prevented me from graduating from cannabis to more dangerous drugs. I was much more afraid that I would get hooked. The price of cocaine and heroin also put me off buying them. Thank God I could not afford them.My great fear now is that legalising drugs will make them much cheaper, and put them within reach of the average teenager's budget. It will also strip narcotics of the aura of danger that surrounds them, putting them on the same footing as alcohol and tobacco. No doubt it is the danger that attracts some people to drugs. But I suspect that it puts many more of us off them.For all these reasons, I am in two minds about the news that senior police officers are inclined to go easy on people caught in possession of cannabis and ecstasy. There is one point, however, on which I have a very firm opinion that does not contradict any other that I hold. It is this: what is being proposed is one of the most radical changes of my lifetime in the law as it affects young people. It is not for policemen to decide whether or not they should enforce the law on drugs, but for our elected representatives in Parliament.Let us have a proper debate, and a free vote at the end of it. It is just as well that I am not an MP, because I would find myself making two speeches, equally passionate - one on each side of the argument.Complete Title: Drugs Should Be Legalised - But Not for My ChildrenSource: Daily Telegraph (UK)Author: Tom KempPublished: November 22, 2001Copyright: 2001 Telegraph Group LimitedContact: dtletters Articles:British Police Prepared To Support Relaxed Laws Urge Radical Shift on Drugs

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Comment #10 posted by FoM on November 22, 2001 at 13:55:16 PT
Happy Thanksgiving to you too. I ate too much and now I'm sleepy. Turkey does that to me. Have a good rest of the day and weekend and stay safe!
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Comment #9 posted by Toker00 on November 22, 2001 at 13:25:02 PT
Happy Thanksgiving fellow Cannabists
And everyone else, for that matter, who do matter.Had a wonderful meal at my sister's house, with family and cranberry sauce! Yummy. Love that stuff. Got lucky and hooked up this morning, also. Love that stuff, too! : )The author of this article did a good job on both sides. But I think he knows legalizing is the only logic based choice. Cannabis is like a great big hug. From the inside!Peace. Realize, then Legalize.
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Comment #8 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on November 22, 2001 at 05:34:38 PT
Kids and druuuuugs
>>To the question, "Would your boys be more likely, or less, to take narcotics if they were legalised?" I would have to answer, "More". And if you asked what I thought about that idea, I would say that it horrified me.  Nevermind that the Dutch have the lowest rate of cannabis usage, with their liberal coffeeshop system. The other question which needs to be posed is, "Would your boys be more likely, or less, to SELL narcotics if they were legalised?"
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Comment #7 posted by dddd on November 21, 2001 at 23:42:44 PT
kids and drugs
...I was brought by parents,who were somewhat conservative,but allowed their kids to have a glass of wine with dinner.It removed the mystique from alcohol...I have several good friends,who had kids in the 70s & 80s,,and they allowed their kids to try pot,,and every one of those kids,does not smoke pot today..They were allowed the priveledge to choose at an early age,and pot was no big deal to them.....The tabboo on pot, and/or drugs/alcohol makes it become far more interesting to a rebellious teen,,,those who already know about it,tend to grow up with far less tendencies to experiment with such things.....of course,,all this is a rather generalized theory,,,,but I think it quite likely,that it holds much truth....Happy Thanksgiving to all. ...especially Xanaralk,,I appreciated your message......dddd
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Comment #6 posted by johnrambo on November 21, 2001 at 22:58:56 PT
im just waiting...
I look at this page every now and then, read a few articles, but never see what I want to see."It's official : USA to legalize cannabis"Why have I not seen this yet?Anyway, here's hoping...
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on November 21, 2001 at 22:44:41 PT

That is so nice of you to say and have a nice holiday! Maybe someday down here in the states our political leaders will wake up and change these laws. Happily Canada and the UK are on the ball. We just need to follow your lead. I sure hope we do!
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Comment #4 posted by Xanaralk on November 21, 2001 at 22:37:32 PT

Happy thanksgiving 
  Happy thanksgiving FoM , GreenFox mayan E_johson dddd and EveryOne else i forget to name ! Let me give you these thanks : This site is really great ! I drop by daily since a few months ! You are doing something important. In the end it can make the difference. people here could learn a lot from the US experience but we seem better at learning how to repeat the same mistakes ... This is why i try to educate everyone who can have an impact on the matter. You talk to someone who is well respected and influent and he will spread it ... In the end , every soul counts . a letter is worth writing if it convices only one person ! It is CannabisNews mostly which brought me into doing this. Happy thanksgiving ! From the land of the free , Québec !
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on November 21, 2001 at 22:09:23 PT

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone
Well it's about time for me to call it a day and tomorrow I get to do a little cooking. I love to make Thanksgiving dinner. Most of all I'll love raiding the refrigerator tomorrow night. Yum! I'm thankful for having Cannabis News and most of all I'm thankful for all the people who visit here almost everyday and make me think and make me laugh. I will do news but there probably won't me much and I will be a little slower but I will get it done. Enjoy the holiday. 
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on November 21, 2001 at 20:56:27 PT

My 2 cents
There was alcohol in my home when I was growing up and it was off limits. I was told when I was 21 if I wanted to drink I could. The fear of getting my parents mad kept me from even thinking about drinking. One time I did go to a party and drink and made it home and past my parents and upstairs to my room only to fall in my closet and bring them both running. I never did that again! LOL!
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Comment #1 posted by E_Johnson on November 21, 2001 at 20:49:49 PT

Why American feminists came to reject Prohibition
The real end of the line for Alcohol Prohibition in America was when a leading American feminist came out publicly and said that Prohibition had only made it harder, and not easier, to keep booze out of the hands of children.
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