Saturday, February 05, 2005

ban these evil peanuts

Another slight return on the theme of inconsistent drug policy.

Mental health charity Rethink has called for a government inquiry into the effects of cannabis on mental health, especially in the light of studies indicating it may trigger the onset of certain mental conditions.

Although, as far as I can see, there's nothing from Rethink overtly calling for cannabis legislation to be toughened, the media are taking that as the implication.

Rethink's Terry Hammond says 'it's Russian roulette' , but this would only be accurate if the gun had one bullet and several million chambers.

Nobody can seriously claim cannabis is entirely harmless for all possible users. But the fact is that it's used responsibly and safely by millions without any harm to anyone, not even themselves.

Still, Rethink are right in one aspect. We really should know the risks of the drugs we use.

Let's say that it is unarguable that cannabis can trigger otherwise latent psychosis in predisposed people. It's still not a reason to ban it. It's a reason to do the research and properly inform people of the risks, and it's a reason to provide health care for the small number of unfortunate people who suffer.

What I do find weird is Rethink's claim that there has been a 60% increase in people who 'smoked drugs' (presumably meaning cannabis) and had mental health problems in the last five years.

On the presumption they're not seriously claiming a 60% increase in the number of people who smoke cannabis, there must be some other factor at work here. Whichever, if it's true it certainly warrants serious enquiry so that others may be saved from such a fate. What else are our representatives for (in theory) if not to facilitate a wiser way of living?

But a better comparison than Russian roulette would be peanut allergy. Millions of us enjoy peanut products every day, but for a few people with undiagnosed latent allergies, peanut use is very damaging, even fatal. There has been a massive increase in peanut allergies in recent years and the government has done nothing, effectively encouraging this dangerous peanut use.

How dare the government be soft on peanuts. How dare these people who use peanuts recreationally - not one of whom truly needs the nuts - want them to be freely available and thus allow those with latent allergies to be exposed to the dire consequences. Pubs and supermarkets across the country are pushing deadly peanuts, profiting from the suffering of innocent children. Those who call for the legalisation of Star Bars and peanut butter M&Ms are calling for peanut-allergic children to fall dead in the playground. Ban these evil peanuts.

1 comment:

scarletharlot69 said...

right, I'm off to score some pre prohibition peanuts!