News24

Major panel: Drug war has failed

2011-06-02 08:48

New York - The global war on drugs has failed and governments should explore legalising marijuana and other controlled substances, according to a commission that includes former heads of state, a former UN secretary-general and a business mogul.

A new report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy argues that the decades-old "global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world." The 24-page paper will be released Thursday.

"Political leaders and public figures should have the courage to articulate publicly what many of them acknowledge privately: that the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that repressive strategies will not solve the drug problem, and that the war on drugs has not, and cannot, be won," the report said.

The 19-member commission includes former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and former US official George P. Schultz, who held cabinet posts under US Presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon. Others include former US Federal Reserve chairperson Paul Volcker, former presidents of Mexico, Brazil and Colombia, writers Carlos Fuentes and Mario Vargas Llosa, UK business mogul Richard Branson and the current prime minister of Greece.

Instead of punishing users who the report says "do no harm to others," the commission argues that governments should end criminalisation of drug use, experiment with legal models that would undermine organised crime syndicates and offer health and treatment services for drug-users in need.

Reduce crime

The commission called for drug policies based on methods empirically proven to reduce crime, lead to better health and promote economic and social development.

The commission is especially critical of the United States, which its members say must lead changing its anti-drug policies from being guided by anti-crime approaches to ones rooted in healthcare and human rights.

"We hope this country (the US) at least starts to think there are alternatives," former Colombian president Cesar Gaviria told The Associated Press by phone. "We don't see the US evolving in a way that is compatible with our (countries') long-term interests."

The office of White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowske said the report was misguided.

"Drug addiction is a disease that can be successfully prevented and treated. Making drugs more available - as this report suggests - will make it harder to keep our communities healthy and safe," Office of National Drug Control Policy spokesperson Rafael Lemaitre said.

That office cites statistics showing declines in US drug use compared to 30 years ago, along with a more recent 46% drop in current cocaine use among young adults over the last five years.

The report cited UN estimates that opiate use increased 34.5% worldwide and cocaine 27% from 1998 to 2008, while the use of cannabis, or marijuana, was up 8.5%.

Comments
  • Point Blank - 2011-06-02 09:03

    Yipee! Puf puff pass...

      cj.venter - 2011-06-02 09:16

      *pass*

      Krush - 2011-06-02 12:15

      According to this latest study marijuana use “precede the onset of psychotic symptoms.” Furthermore, the longer an adolescent uses it, the greater the risk for psychotic disorder.The key assumption made is that the higher-than-average psychosis in individuals who have no prior history of psychosis before marijuana use must mean that marijuana use is causing the psychosis. This is just one of many many articles of research done. Not only its use result in psychosis, but it is a gateway drug to hardcore drugs. Once you're using marijuana your level of self control drops and you are far more willing to do things you wouldn't do naturally. It also makes you mentally slow and affects your memory. My brother, may of my friends and some colleagues have used marijuana and I can say NOTHING positive about their behaviour or attitude when using it. My brother got psychosis, my friend turned into an idiot who slouches around all day and smells bad, doesn't want to work and steals money from his parents (he's 31 and back at home) and is "happy with the way his life is" not thinking of the consequences and how it affects anyone else around him and my colleague is constantly making mistakes and forgetting things which increases my work load. Marijuana is not a personal choice, it effects everyone around you. Users have delusions of grandeur and are narcisstic believing there is absolutely nothing wrong with their functionality. They claim its not addictive but when asked to stop cant.

      Gazelle - 2011-06-02 12:20

      THE REAL REASON CANNABIS HAS BEEN OUTLAWED HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ITS EFFECTS ON THE MIND AND BODY. Pot is NOT harmful to the human body or mind. Marijuana does NOT pose a threat to the general public. Marijuana is very much a danger to the oil companies, alcohol, tobacco industries and a large number of chemical corporations. Various big businesses, with plenty of dollars and influence, have suppressed the truth from the people. The truth is if marijuana was utilized for its vast array of commercial products, it would create an industrial atomic bomb! Entrepreneurs have not been educated on the product potential of pot. The super rich have conspired to spread misinformation about an extremely versatile plant that, if used properly, would ruin their companies. Where did the word 'marijuana' come from? In the mid 1930s, the M-word was created to tarnish the good image and phenomenal history of the hemp plant...as you will read. The facts cited here, with references, are generally verifiable in the Encyclopedia Britannica which was printed on hemp paper for 150 years: * All schoolbooks were made from hemp or flax paper until the 1880s; Hemp Paper Reconsidered, Jack Frazier, 1974. * It was LEGAL TO PAY TAXES WITH HEMP in America from 1631 until the early 1800s; LA Times, Aug. 12, 1981. * REFUSING TO GROW HEMP in America during the 17th and 18th Centuries WAS AGAINST THE LAW! You could be jailed in Virginia for refusing to grow hemp from 1763 to 1769; Hemp in Colonial Virginia, G. M. Herdon.

      My2c - 2011-06-02 12:20

      so, jy kan dit nie stop nie, so maak dit wettig. Dan moet ons plaasmoorde ook maar wettig ne

      Gazelle - 2011-06-02 12:23

      Read more about it here - http://www.lewrockwell.com/spl2/reason-hemp-is-illegal.html

      Krush - 2011-06-02 12:45

      Although legalization activists and many marijuana users believe smoking pot has no negative effects, scientific research indicates that marijuana use can cause many different health problems. Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States. When smoked, it begins to effect users almost immediately and can last for one to three hours. When it is eaten in food, such as baked in brownies and cookies, the effects take longer to begin, but usually last longer. Short-Term Effects The short-term effects of marijuana include: • Distorted perception (sights, sounds, time, touch) • Problems with memory and learning • Loss of coordination • Trouble with thinking and problem-solving • Increased heart rate, reduced blood pressure Sometimes marijuana use can also produce anxiety, fear, distrust, or panic. Effects on the Brain The active ingredient in marijuana, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, acts on cannabinoid receptors on nerve cells and influences the activity of those cells. Some brain areas have many cannabinoid receptors, but other areas of the brain have few or none at all. Many cannabinoid receptors are found in the parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thought, concentration, sensory and time perception, and coordinated movement. When high doses of marijuana are used, usually when eaten in food rather than smoked, users can experience the following symptoms: • Hallucinations • Delusions • Impaired memory • Disorientation Effects on the Heart Within a few minutes after smoking marijuana, the heart begins beating more rapidly and the blood pressure drops. Marijuana can cause the heart beat to increase by 20 to 50 beats per minute, and can increase even more if other drugs are used at the same time. Because of the lower blood pressure and higher heart rate, researchers found that users' risk for a heart attack is four times higher within the first hour after smoking marijuana, compared to their general risk of heart attack when not smoking. Effects on the Lungs Smoking marijuana, even infrequently, can cause burning and stinging of the mouth and throat, and cause heavy coughing. Scientists have found that regular marijuana smokers can experience the same respiratory problems as tobacco smokers do, including: • Daily cough and phlegm production • More frequent acute chest illnesses • Increased risk of lung infections • Obstructed airways Most marijuana smokers consume a lot less cannabis than cigarette smokers consume tobacco, however the harmful effects of smoking marijuana should not be ignored. Marijuana contains more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke and because marijuana smokers typically inhale deeper and hold the smoke in their lungs longer than tobacco smokers, their lungs are exposed to those carcinogenic properties longer, when smoking. What About Cancer? Although one study found that marijuana smokers were three times more likely to develop cancer of the head or neck than non-smokers, that study could not be confirmed by further analysis. Because marijuana smoke contains three times the amount of tar found in tobacco smoke and 50 percent more carcinogens, it would seem logical to deduce that there is an increased risk of lung cancer for marijuana smokers. However, researchers have not been able to definitively prove such a link because their studies have not been able to adjust for tobacco smoking and other factors that might also increase the risk. Studies linking marijuana smoking to lung cancer have also been limited by selection bias and small sample size. For example, the participants in those studies may have been too young to have developed lung cancer yet. Even though researchers have yet to "prove" a link between smoking pot and lung cancer, regular smokers may want to consider the risk. Other Health Effects Research indicates that THC impairs the body's immune system from fighting disease, which can cause a wide variety of health problems. One study found that marijuana actually inhibited the disease-preventing actions of key immune cells. Another study found that THC increased the risk of developing bacterial infections and tumors. Effects of Exposure During Pregnancy Several studies have found that children born to mothers who used marijuana during pregnancy exhibit some problems with neurological development. According to those studies, prenatal marijuana exposure can cause: • Altered responses to visual stimuli • Increased tremulousness • Problems with sustained attention and memory • Poor problem-solving skills

      Robbie.wp - 2011-06-02 13:12

      this smells like a google cut and paste job...

      GrimReaper10 - 2011-06-02 13:17

      @Krush. No one is reading your long copy and paste articles

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-06-02 13:42

      Anybody who believes cannabis smoking is perfectly harmles is deluding themselves. ANY mind-altering substance, like cannabis, has long term effects on the mind and body. It's just a matter of how much you use it.

      Chen_Kat - 2011-06-02 13:57

      Legalize it, enforce age restrictions, tax it, benefit from it. It's a potential mega-industry, put on hold because most people just dont know enough about it. The only reason it gains it's "gateway drug" label, is because you have to buy the product from some shady underground dealer, and guess, what, he sells coke and acid aswell... Take him out of the consumer's buying cycle and you'll solve a big problem. Who would you rather run into on the street, an aggressive drunk who wants to fight you because you looked at him funnily, or someone who cant stop smiling at you? Who causes the most trouble, high people? Is marijuana as addictive as cigarettes? One could smoke a box of cigs in 2 hours, accompanied by way too many drinks, STANDARD ISSUE. That to me is damage. But having a little J-dizzle after a long day's work and watching some family guy, well we could almost classify that as education.

      tsotsi420 - 2011-06-02 14:29

      I think the point of the article is not that drugs are good for you, but more that the war on drugs and the proliferation of drug syndicates who use violence and intimidation are worse. Drinking, smoking, stress at work, pollution, vehicles on the road are all dangers we put up with because it's never a simple black and white issue. The biggest killer of young men on this planet is motor accidents. Vehicles are therefore pretty bad when considering health implications of young males. I don't see anyone calling for the end to motor vehicles, or air travel. Fact is drugs aren't great for you. But instead of criminalising them, rather regulate, tax and provide support networks - bring it out the shadows - and watch the cartels (major spin offs on world crime and violence) fade, see the revenue's come in, improve the quality of the drugs (in terms of no bad batches of e.g. heroin, which always take out a few). Fact is past policy has failed. Do we keep banging our head against the same door ?

      Zion - 2011-06-04 08:29

      Gazelle Your time is your own to spend as you please but genuine now: your comment had me in stitches of laughter. Next it would be illegal to run your car engine with dirty oil because the oil magnates will suffer. I just love these people that come up with their looney conspiracies. Ya and the royal family sanctioned the murder of Princess Di. and the commies murdered JFK. Thanks for making my day.

  • Robbie.wp - 2011-06-02 09:12

    who thinks cannabis ONLY should be legalized?

      Sharief - 2011-06-02 10:03

      legalize it maann...safer than alcohol and tobacco!

      CorbZA - 2011-06-02 10:11

      It won't solve the problem of the hard drugs. Cannabis is pretty much tolerated in this country anyway, it's everywhere if you look.

      Krush - 2011-06-02 12:23

      They're trying to resolve this the way they did with "rape." Lower the legal consenting age to have sex and that way if a "rape" is reported we'll just disregard it as "consensual." Legalise marijuana and make the work load less - make "Crime" look better on paper so that the government can get a slap on the back. Has rape decreased in south africa? Look at Mexico where it is no longer illegal to buy drugs in small quantities, has crime decreased? There is no evidence of crime decreasing my legalising drugs. Personally I dont believe the problem lies with the dealers but with the users. Users should get just as much jail time as the dealer, not based on the quantity but simply based on the fact that you are in possession. No users, no dealers. Why do we have so many nigerian drug dealers etc in south africa? Because you line their poickets everytime you light up. If you cause drugs, you are just as responsible. Lets hope instead of legalising the drug they "weed out" the corrupt officials.

      Spoofed - 2011-06-02 12:23

      i agree... cannabis should be legalized as it is a natural''drug'' lets call it that.... the rest all all manufactured in labs. Also i have never ever heard of anybody dying from a puff. Yet Millions die each year from tobacco and alcohol...

      Mole71 - 2011-06-02 13:28

      I wouldnt say legalise it, rather decriminalise it and make it legal to carry no more then 5g on your person. Any more then its possesion with the intent to distribute - for this is who we are really targeting right? The drug dealers, not the average person that enjoys a joint. Try and get your hands on The Union: Business behind getting high. Without a doubt the most informative documentary on giggle twig

      Majik - 2011-06-02 16:47

      Krush your full of Sh!t go read more propaganda fool. Alcohol, tobacco and breathing in car fumes if far worse for you. legalise it :)

  • Liar.com - 2011-06-02 09:13

    If this is legalise wonders what the next narcotic wil be - which will rise to fame

      Egg-Zachary - 2011-06-02 14:36

      I gave you a thumbs down because I don't understand what you trying to say! Stay off the tik!!!

  • mnbain - 2011-06-02 09:15

    Being a drug addict should not make you a criminal. This forces the user to become secretive and withdraw from open society and further exposes them to real criminal elements - putting them on a slippery slope calling into question the validity of other laws.

      thatsawesome - 2011-06-02 12:32

      agreed, the only reason dope is a GATEWAY drug is because society forces the users to find a drug dealer. So infact the LAW is a gateway drug haha

      benita.debeer.58 - 2012-10-16 10:13

      Are you sure? Please read the laws before making silly remarks. It is illegal to use, sell or have drugs in your possession. Please see: GOVERNMENT GAZETTE, 15 JULY 1992 No, 14143 9 DRUGS AND DRUG TRAFFICKING Acr. 1992 CHAPTER II ILLEGAL ACTS Act No. 140, 1992 Acts relating (0 scheduled substances and drugs Manufacture and supply of scheduled substances 3. No person shall manufacture any scheduled substance or supply it to any other person, knowing or suspecting that any such scheduled substance is 10 be used in or for the unlawful manufacture of any drug. Use and possession of drugs 4. No person shall use or ha...e in his possession- (a) any dependence-producing substance; or (b) any dangerous dependence-producing substance or any undesirable dependence-producing substance, Need I say any more?

  • CorbZA - 2011-06-02 09:19

    A great step for treating people with addiction as patients rather than criminals!

      watalife - 2011-06-02 12:21

      Dont agree at all,I am an addict and have been clean for 6 years. The reason addicts get away all the time is the amount of compassion/sympathy people are willing to give.Offenders must be sent to jail immediately and thats that,cold turkey is the best. They are not patients its all self inflicted.

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-06-02 13:45

      You mean like in America watalife? yeah, they get out of jails as PERFECT human subjects. Oh, wait, did i say jail, i meant Criminal university. Treat the addiction. If you send someone to jail for using they will never quit, and mature into actual criminals inside. Now the DRUG DEALERS, they can rot in jail.

      Majik - 2011-06-02 16:50

      So maybe you should insist they send your ass to jail watalife????????

      benita.debeer.58 - 2012-10-16 10:37

      spend your time wisely by reading a bit of this: http://www.info.gov.za/view/DynamicAction?pageid=623&myID=243867

      benita.debeer.58 - 2012-10-16 11:10

      NO. Rather educate the youth, starting at age 7 even, that any use of cigarettes, alcohol and drugs including cannabis is illegal and totally wrong. God doesn't treat you like a patient if you are a drug addict and destroy your life and others with it. He will punish you for your sin, like the government has to and I hope they keep on punishing people for drug use/dealing, as it definitely is a criminal act to destroy your own and others people's lives.

  • daboss247365 - 2011-06-02 09:28

    What rubbish, this so called war was just never fought visciously enough, & has been infested with too many liberal policies. Send the military into the streets & execute all and any drug dealer / user. That is bound to decimate their numbers & isolate survivors, forcing them to stop their habits & trade, or bringing them into the open where they can be executed efficiently.

      CorbZA - 2011-06-02 09:55

      I call troll...

      Sharief - 2011-06-02 10:06

      then we need to find all GAY people,prostitutes,under age sexually active people and try and make them straight...?

      daboss247365 - 2011-06-02 10:22

      @Sharief, Kindly stick to the topic at hand....

      Will2.0 - 2011-06-02 10:51

      It worked our great for Mexico, didn't it? You'd be surprised by who are drug users if you knew, so easy now.

      daboss247365 - 2011-06-02 11:10

      @will, My rather aggressive comment stems from years of exposure to addicts, dealers & the consequences associated with it. I was never involved, yet have tried & tested. I can assure you, that many here have no idea of what the consequence of uncontrolled drug abuse does to families, communities & all that come in contact with the substance & the dealers. Alcohol is dangerous to the individual using it, with some level of concern for those around. Drugs on the other hand may or may not cause more health damage to the user, but they destroy families, lives, & increase crime on a ridicules level. Many here need to actually know something before commenting on others without any experience. Not attacking you guys, just saying from a perspective of direct engagement with the danger under discussion.

      youngSAdude - 2011-06-02 11:10

      Please don't make stupid comments like that, your retardation becomes blatantly obvious...

      Sam.H - 2011-06-02 12:09

      Does that execution plan of yours also include alcoholics and cigarette smokers? Would at least get rid of 90% of the Blue bulls supporters.

      Spoofed - 2011-06-02 12:24

      Oh god not you again...

      daboss247365 - 2011-06-02 12:51

      LOL @ spoofed, one day, my kind will come to power, & lay down some law & order.. till then its jokes I suppose, but support is growing... the only way to defeat a liberal is with a war, & that war will come my dear friend. not in the next 2 decades, but it is coming, as our resentment to the destruction caused by uncontrolled liberal tendencies & policies shows failure worldwide.

      daboss247365 - 2011-06-02 12:51

      @SAM.H, I admit, as a blue bull, I had a laugh...

      Will2.0 - 2011-06-02 13:43

      You've used, yet you call for the execution of all users. Hypocritical much? Anyway, nobody here is asking for uncontrolled drug abuse, just the decriminalisation of some drugs, most notably cannabis. If anything, it will be more controlled as it won't have to be done in secret. Why do you not put up the same fight for alcohol? Alcohol abuse is a major problem. Say it was illegal, can you imagine there being less abuse? Or can you imagine criminal empires running amok in our cities? Now go read about prohibition in the US and how that worked out for them. Why should Cannabis be treated differently? And don't even get me started on hemp - no THC, just a plethora of known uses, yet it's illegal to grow.

      amuller001 - 2011-06-02 16:29

      You're an a-hole dude, drunk drivers have killed more people this year than marijuana has EVER, watch "The Union: The business of getting high" before making uninformed comments. Get your facts straigth.

      Majik - 2011-06-02 16:52

      Another know it all full of SH!T daboss please drown yourself...

  • Egg-Zachary - 2011-06-02 09:28

    This is music to my ears! Cannabis should be restored legally, 80% of South African drug arrests are marijuana related! Should it be legal the cops will have 80% more resources and time on their hands to deal with REAL criminals... This is just one side of a very abnormal prohibition against cannabis, medically the PLANT has enormous capabilities and should be explored! Puff Puff pass indeed! Can't believe it's taken so long for people to realise that the WAR on drugs is not working!

  • Patricia - 2011-06-02 09:29

    Portugal decriminalized drugs 5 years ago and it is a success story! This means the DRUGLORDS will end up in jail and not protected by corrupt officials!

  • DSJM - 2011-06-02 09:38

    The biggest punishment you could impose in a drug-dealer is to legalize their goods, which would force them to pay tax.

      Spoofed - 2011-06-02 12:41

      Problem is how do you tax people for something they can grow in their own backyard....

      Francisco d - 2011-06-02 14:02

      Never mind making them pay tax. It would annihilate their black market profits.

  • braveinternetguy - 2011-06-02 09:48

    Cannabis is safe and harmless when used in moderation. Unlike alcohol, which is completely acceptable and legal, dagga cannot bring the user to a state of utter incapacity, no matter how much is smoked. Dagga is non-addictive (yet may be prone to habit-forming), it is non-toxic (in fact, it has many medicinal uses), it is not carcinogenic (unlike tobacco) and those who smoke it, feel no withdrawal symptoms between intakes (irrespective of the time between intakes). I know quite a few professional, law-abiding, tax-paying, hard-working, family-oriented people who enjoy the occasional dagga zol. I also know a few people who smoke 60 cigarettes a day, and I also know a couple of alcoholics. Cigarettes are one of the greatest killers of our time, and we all know how many accidents and deaths are caused by alcohol. In my four decades on this planet, I'm yet to see proof that dagga is bad for you. Sure, don't just arbitrarily pronounce dagga "legal"...keep it restricted (in terms of use and distribution), but certainly de-criminalize it. I'd even go so far as to suggest that certain establishments are given permits to allow for the on-premesis sale and consumption of cannabis - Amsterdam-style.

      Zion - 2011-06-02 10:14

      Cannabis causes psychosis. No, no, no, don't believe it here comes a moerse argument which will end undecided like they all do. Every little expert sitting on his monkey-pole with a chain of dagga attached to his leg fighting not for logic or concern but merely to justify his/her own addiction. And BRAVEGUY I also know many and most belong in an asylum. On premises sale means 14yrs olds can slip in conveniently by the side door.

      Sharief - 2011-06-02 10:19

      you could not have put it better...alcohol destroys lives,causes domestic violence,teenage pregnancies,car accidents,public disturbance yet its legal because everybody is making money somewhere.Dagga on the other hand is a natural herb which relaxes and makes a person pasive,u rather break up fights,u promote peace and it makes u more loving towards ur spouce..from a personal expereince i would agree on legalizing it as more than 5 million people world wide enjoys an accasional puff

      Sam.H - 2011-06-02 12:19

      @Zion - I agree with a lot of your posts but this one I obviously don´t, withthe majority of the people commenting on this article. I read some time ago that the Dagga industry in South Africa was 9 times bigger (turnover) than the beer industry. Imagine the tax revenue to be made. There will be more monney to steal from dagga tax and less from hard earned income tax. Dagga smokers are normally very chilled, they don´t like hard music or bar fights.

      Brian - 2011-06-02 12:32

      only a stoner will make such claims. You dont speak of the long term problems do you. ten times the amount of tar than in cigarettes... Non toxic! what a load of crap. I agree that there may be medicinal uses but stoners love that one. Have you ever driven a car when you are seriously stoned. Its not a joke

      Pstir - 2011-06-02 14:00

      I have Brian, plenty times. Rather a stoner driving than a drunk or do you disagree?

      Zion - 2011-06-04 08:20

      I find it interesting that you equate burnt out brains with the price of beer. This argument has been lost even before it started and will remain being lost after it has appeared many times still to come.

  • stephen scott - 2011-06-02 10:41

    we need less government, its a persons own responsibility what he wants to do to himself, same goes for crash helmets, and seat belts, thats your choise, dont make a laws out of it,

      daboss247365 - 2011-06-02 11:20

      & who answers when the addicts steal from family / community? who's problem does it become when the kid goes missing & you have a distraught family looking for them? who pays for the counselling of a mother who lost a child? who pays for the angry father who shoots the dealers out of sheer helplessness? who pays the final emotional & financial toll might I ask?

      Pstir - 2011-06-02 11:36

      daboss, where do you stand on the banning of alcohol and tobacco?

      daboss247365 - 2011-06-02 13:58

      @Pstir, the summary of my thoughs is that if you choose to smoke, then provided you do so without affecting non smokers, you are only affecting yourself. This is a big reason that recent regulations were passed so easily. As a smoker even I was getting sick of smoked up public places, yet currenntly If i wish to smoke, I do so without affecting non smokers, or coming out in any way non sober. As for drinking, We have regulations that control thi son our roads, & we try enforce them. It is a well controlled market, that caters for those who wish to drink. There is a big problem with underage drinking, however that in many cases is a result of neglegent parenting, not alcohol itself. Drinking as such is up to the individual. it does not affect those around you in terms of health, it contains no chemical substance that makes it addictive, & flushes out your system rather fast. it is therefore easy to control & restricted to its users only (Those who drink and drive are doing so illegally) This however is where it gets blurry. In all honesty, I dont see how marijuana differs from drinking & smoking, yet I do believe that it becomes a gateway for those using harder drugs to campaign for even lesser restrictions, on the basis of legalize one, legalize all... & unfortunately, our legal systems are not geared up to fight that, hence we are stuck baning all. As for those claiming drugs do less harm than alcohol... that may be true for pure cocaine only, which you never get.

      Pstir - 2011-06-02 14:30

      So you've never heard of an alcoholic? Those who beat their wives and children when they try to get them to stop drinking all day every day? You telling me it's not addictive? Have you heard of Alcoholics Anonymous? Maybe those addicts shouldn't be put in the same bracket as those who can control themselves when it comes to alcohol? Maybe that goes for any drug? Gateway drug? How many people who use cannabis did so before they tried alcohol and/or tobacco? How does marijuana differ from alcohol and tobacco? A stoner goes to work, has a productive day, goes home and maybe lights one up and chills at home, causes no problems, goes back to work the next day. Get drunk the night before and you are either not going to work at all or you won't be as productive. And why are people allowed smoke breaks during office hours, well actually maybe we should keep that, cigarette smokers get a little cranky after a few hours without one. And that smell on their breath doesn't just disappear easily. And if drugs are available legally over the counter where you can choose exactly what you want and are sure of the quality, do you really think there are going to be many dealers here? I don't know many who would use dealers in that scenario...

      Egg-Zachary - 2011-06-02 14:47

      @daboss - you say it's fine to smoke cigarettes??? 8 million people die every year from cigarette related illnesses and 600,000 of those are non-smokers affected by secondary smoke! Now, tell me, how many people die each year from cannabis??? none, nobody has ever died from smoking weed! You only say it's fine to smoke cigarettes because you are obviously a smoker, my friend, you are a drug addict! Nicotine is a drug, cannabis is 100% natural and contains NO toxins!!!! Your arguement is severely flawed! We would then have to include you in your genocide of drug users! yes?

      daboss247365 - 2011-06-02 14:50

      @Pstir, sorry, soem of my posts never showed up, I have no issues with weed as such, read lower posts

  • Lanfear - 2011-06-02 11:06

    At last! All these "war" on this and "war" on that is a load of rubbish! The so-called "war on drugs" was doomed from the start. Legalise and control the stuff, get tax from it to pay to help addicts, etc. There's loads of legal stuff out there, that you can even buy over the counter, that is just as dangerous, addictive and determental to your health. Just look at all the starts recently that died from legal drugs. And marijuana is probably the least dangerous of all substances that humans use to "relax a little". Should have never been banned in the first place. Besides, it is a most diverse plant that can be used for plenty of stuff and is great for the environment [erosion, etc.]. @ Zion - I know people who use marijuana, have used it myself, and I've never seen the psycosis that you and some others cite as reason for banning it. Please reference one researcher [and their research of course] that have published conclusive, peer reviewed findings. There's a lot of "ifs" and "maybes" in those [mostly not published or peer reviewed] research findings.

      Zion - 2011-06-03 17:08

      Most of my comments on this forum have been deleted so it will be pointless to add more and waste my time with small minds.

  • chris. - 2011-06-02 11:20

    About time someone stood up and spoke the truth. I used to share a flat with a coke-head who was always bragging that it was easier to get cocaine than it was to get beer at 3am in Johannesburg and he was right! It's been a complete failure and has brought misery to people who are affected by the organised crime that comes along with it, banning things doesn't make them go away it just removes your ability to monitor and control access to them.

      daaivark - 2011-06-02 13:56

      Hello. Does one spell "cocaine" like this: "m-a-r-i-j-u-a-n-a"? A different substance, twit.

      chris. - 2011-06-03 12:26

      Wow! I usually really enjoy your perspective on things daaivark, I never took you for a name caller... If you took the time to read the article you would notice that Sir Richard and co are trying to stop the war on DRUGS. They're not trying to legalise papegaaitwak, they're arguing against prohibition. I was merely giving an example of why prohibition doesn't work based on personal experience...

  • RVQ - 2011-06-02 11:39

    Meanwhile in SA even government officials smuggle drugs...

  • Foxilass - 2011-06-02 11:47

    Here's "demon-cracy" for you! Do what you like, to whom you like, whenever you like, with whatever you choose - WHY? Because with demon-cracy, WEALTH comes before HEALTH and PROFIT before PEOPLE. So, vote away you silly people!

  • Huey Freeman - 2011-06-02 12:44

    Decriminalise it and tax it at the social cost. I.e. the cost of rehab, sickness etc This is done to some degree with cigarettes and alcohol. I would prefer that the users of the substances carry the burden of treating those who suffer from its use rather than everyone in the country carrying the burden. Also, if it is decriminalised, the criminal element has less incentive to be violent and let's face it - if you are not harming anyone else with your actions, why does the government want to stop you in any event? Why is it illegal in the first place? Prohibition did not work for alcohol and it is not working for cannabis. There is an argument that cannabis is a 'gateway' drug (i.e. leads to other drug use). I would argue that the first substance experimented with is alcohol for just about everybody - alcohol is the real first step.

  • daaivark - 2011-06-02 13:18

    @My2c. Moenie belaglik wees nie. Wat is die verband?

  • daaivark - 2011-06-02 13:19

    @ Krush. That is one body of "evidence". There is just as large a body of research the counters this stupid dogma.

      Zion - 2011-06-04 08:15

      ^This issue is not about bodies of evidence but rather a futile effort to justify the use and abuse of the substance in question. Whatever the evidence may be and whoever presents that evidence will be hailed as lies etc. I have seen the stuff and its consequences but mention it then some unintelligent snotnose will tell me I am lying, and that outspoken statement is made from the running boards of the bandwaggon which is the favorite transport lately.

  • Mole71 - 2011-06-02 13:42

    I can go to any pub anywhere in the country and get completely wasted to the point where I need medical help, I can buy cigarettes from 90% of shops which will in the end give me all sorts of cancers. Yet I cant light up, buy or ideally grow my own plant for my personal use. A plant that has no recorded fatalities (you will need to consume 750kg to ingest enough THC for it to be fatal) and has throughout history been used not just for smoking, but for over 4000 different products and uses from medical to building materials. "Genesis 1: 12 I have given you all the seed baring plants and herbs to use." Decriminalise it. We are our own person, if I want to try something I will, we dont need to be told what to do and what not to do all the time. Leave us make up our own minds.

  • wmutahi - 2011-06-02 13:45

    That is true. Is it the law that keeps people from using drugs?. I don't think so. If someone is to use drugs they will and if they can't find them most likely they are doing something else that will give them the same high as a drug. But that is assuming that the use of drugs is consensual and no force used. I totally support legalising them, it is the only way to break the cartels and hence at least solve one issue - murders and violence. Even with so much legislation against drugs, they are still very much available. Legalise em.

  • daaivark - 2011-06-02 14:02

    I have recently stopped smoking dope after nearly 45 years of regular, prodigious use, for reasons completely unrelated to health or the law. Am I psychotic? NO! Have I become a crackhead? NO. Sure in my youth I sampled LSD and snorted one or two lines, but that was the sixties and hippy time. Those latter never became habits and I discarded even the idea of experimentation once I enterred the adult world of work and family etc. I bet anything you like that most of those people offering negative comments have absolutely no real-life experience of such things and depend purely on biased research by similar inexperienced theoreticians. You guys just don't have a clue.

      Spoofed - 2011-06-02 14:55

      Hear Hear!

      Egg-Zachary - 2011-06-02 15:26

      I wish more ballies were like you! :-)

  • daboss247365 - 2011-06-02 14:03

    Ok Guys, I see i'm being slammed for my comments here. So here's a question: Where do we draw the line? why, and then once that line is drawn, who enforces this boundary? In addition, should legalization be passed, yet for some reason backfire, & cause a problem that fast spirals beyond control, who answers to the situation, how do we fix it & who covers the costs of this fix?

      daboss247365 - 2011-06-02 14:08

      @Will, I would have absolutely no problem in legalizing marijuana, my quarrel does not lie there, my quarrel lies with the legal framework, that would possibly, by its own liberal outlook & methods, be then forces to further lax the system, paving the way for harder drug users to have a leg to stand on & fight for legal use of far harder drugs.... Are we ready to fight them in our courts of law?

      Robbie.wp - 2011-06-02 14:41

      look at switzerland. they had a herion epidemic in the 80's and 90's. It was so bad, they open "clinics" where users could 'shoot' up in a controlled environment until eventually all heroin addicts could get it prescribed by their local physician because in switzerland addiction to a class-A drug is actually a medical condition. so now even an addict can have a somewhat normal life. look at switzerland now... 20 years later!

  • Egg-Zachary - 2011-06-02 14:04

    I'm not going to argue with the haters here! You have been brainwashed and will take decades to un-brainwash the masses... me arguing with you is like talking to a brick wall! You all seem to be able to read, so do it then, go have a look at www.cannabis.za.net, all of the facts are there with reference. You surely consider yourself as intelligent and wouldn't like to 'have the wool pulled over your eyes'?? would you? do your reading! Countless studies have been completed! Please read with an open mind and think for yourselves! Krush, Zion - all you guys talk about are the things people have been saying for decades without ACTUALLY investigating it, get involved in the cannabis community and you will be shocked!

      Egg-Zachary - 2011-06-02 14:49

      I lied, I have to argue with daboss! He's asking for it!

      Spoofed - 2011-06-02 15:05

      @Egg-Zachary you should read other posts of his... the guy is hitler reincarnated...

      Egg-Zachary - 2011-06-02 15:18

      I know, the dude is not all there! Let's hope this ou never gets an opportunity to live out his sick dreams! The ironic thing is, he could do with a little bit of the turbo-lettuce to chill him out! I recommend Jack Herer or Super Lemon Haze, very good for relaxation!

      daboss247365 - 2011-06-02 15:57

      @Egg, lol, ok I'm back (Sorry was just taking some notes from mein kampf & commenting on a kkk forum. jokes) On a more serious note, I seemed to group everything wrong. I do not have an issue with weed. It does not cause damage to me nor its users if research is anything to go by. My argument lies against the ability of current legal policy to discriminate what drugs should be legalized & what should not be, as is evident with excessive rights granted to certain strains of human in our society (No tendencies mentioned spoof) where some of those rights are fully justified & some, many see, as an abomination. Thats where the issue lies. by granting rights for weed, what prevents the gutter of society from rising up & demanding those same rights for far more dangerous drugs?

      Egg-Zachary - 2011-06-02 16:12

      @daboss - "Send the military into the streets & execute all and any drug dealer / user." Still doesn't explain your above (violent) comment does it! You do know that you as a smoker are more of a drug addict than most! You have to stroke your addiction every hour or so! On your more sane comment - yes I agree that they need to be careful what is made legal, but that will be done and regulated! Give it time, be patient before you start your genocide please! Ok? love you bye!

      daboss247365 - 2011-06-02 16:29

      @Egg, sory was just busy having a smoke... lol, yeah I supposed this discussion can go on for ever, hence there is no resolve up till today...

  • huts25 - 2011-06-02 15:01

    If you abuse any substance, from coffee to ear-buds, it will be harmful. Marijuana if used to a reasonable degree will not cause psychosis, etc. It may aggravate an existing mental condition but doesn't cause people to go insane, anyone who thinks it does has obviously never had a puff.

  • max.deale - 2011-06-02 15:54

    Krush you are a horrible person, think about stuff more, or better yet chill out and smoke a snoozle

  • Jade - 2011-06-02 17:47

    All drugs should be decriminalised and strictly regulated. It is the only way that we can take this vast amount of money out of the hands of criminal gangs and syndicates and use it to help people instead of locking thousands up at the taxpayers expense for a victim-less crime. No one has any right to tell me what I can and can't put in my body. I'll make my own mind up thank you very much! And you can make your own up too. Freedom of choice people, hello! Besides cannabis prohibition had its roots in racism. In the USA blacks, Mexicans and Chinese immigrants were blamed for crime associated with its use. Among scare tactics used where 'black people smoke pot and want to rape white women' I mean come on WTF! On September 6, 1988, the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) Chief Administrative Law Judge, Francis L. Young, ruled that "Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis, marijuana can be safely used within a supervised routine of medical care..."

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