The drift from that first encounter with drugs to drug dependence is probably less swift than that from a first glass of beer to chronic alcoholism. Yet, alcohol is perfectly legal whereas restrictions are placed on the use of some drugs, of which cannabis is the chief culprit.
Cannabis, otherwise referred to as hemp, is a psychoactive drug popular for its function as a mild depressant. It is far less addictive when compared with alcohol or tobacco and is less likely to incite violence in the user or result in lung cancer. As a drug, it is fairly innocuous, given that when taken in reasonably normal amounts, it is practically harmless. Yes, its abuse may impair judgement and when smoked with tobacco it may cause some respiratory deficiencies. However, given the overall properties of cannabis as a drug from an objective point of view, the illegalization of its usage and the penalties attached to its use come as a bit of an exaggerated intervention on the propensity of persons to abuse the drug. Proponents for the revision of the rather draconian narcotic laws in our country in relation to cannabis are many, as observation would reveal, and the emphasis is on certain considerations that warrant this revision.
First, it is rather difficult to detect users of cannabis. Only a small minority of persons who use cannabis are found out and successfully prosecuted. Evidence demonstrates that there are significant social biases that influence the class of cannabis users that are actually made to face prosecution for their usage of the drug such that only a typical minority are brought to court. This minority often comprises of persons belonging to low economic classes. They are mostly multi problem individuals, either unemployed or blue-collar workers who for reasons quite unrelated to their drug use appear to the police as undesirable characters they can’t wait to lock up in jail. Even so, many users will unlikely be found out without a bit of carelessness on their part and most users are careful to avoid detection.
Secondly, as touched on earlier, the effects of cannabis are far less drastic compared to that of alcohol and tobacco and YET the latter are both legal subject to a few restrictions as to the age of users so why then the exception when it comes to cannabis?
From an economic point of view, legalization of cannabis will be more beneficial to our economy as compared to tobacco and alcohol, because the drug does better on arable land given that 95 percent of our lands are arable.
Amazingly the number of cannabis lovers increase every day. And it will come as a shock to many who are against the legalization of cannabis, the number of well-functioning cannabis users on the streets every day.
Then comes the debate as to whether the imposition of restrictions on the use of cannabis are inconsistent with our laws on human rights? It’s one’s decision what drugs one wants to take into one’s body. So far as no third party gets hurt why the restraint?