Friday, October 10

BRITISH STUDY SAYS POT LESS RISKY THAN ALCOHOL, SHOULD BE LEGALIZED

As city officials seek ways to cut expenses, high on the list should be an end to arrests for selling or possessing pot.

NORML
- The potential health risks associated with cannabis are less than those associated with alcohol and do not justify the continued criminalization of the plant or its users, according to a report published by The Beckley Foundation - an independent British think-tank that analyzes drug use and drug policy. "There is no justification for incarcerating an individual for a cannabis possession or use offense, nor for creating a criminal conviction," concludes the report, entitled "Cannabis Policy: Moving Beyond Stalemate."

Authors of the report recommend that governments consider enacting legislation to tax and regulate the sale of cannabis, or - at a minimum - to institute administrative 'fine-only' penalties regarding its use.

"The rationale for severe penalties for possession offenses is weak on both normative and practical grounds," authors state. "In many developed countries a majority of adults born in the past half-century have used cannabis. Control regimes that criminalize users are intrusive on privacy, socially divisive and expensive. . . They clearly do harm to the many individuals who are arrested, they abridge individual autonomy and they are often applied unjustly.

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