Thursday, January 01, 2009
Beckley Commission to push cannabis legalisation at UN
New Scientist has reported on the Beckley Commission's (BC) push to legalise and control cannabis, calling it a 'radical alternative'.
They quote figures that illustrate the irrationality of prohibiting it:
"Despite the undoubted dangers associated with marijuana, the Beckley report concludes that it is far less harmful to users and to society in general than other illicit drugs such as heroin and cocaine, and far less damaging than the legal drugs tobacco and alcohol. There have been only two documented deaths from marijuana overdose, the report notes. This contrasts with 200,000 deaths from all causes each year attributed to other illegal drugs, 2.5 million deaths annually related to alcohol and 5 million to smoking."
That's 7.5 million deaths annually from the legal drugs and only two ever from cannabis (although most sources claim zero deaths).
The prohibitionists assert that legalised control would produce "a nation of dopeheads". In doing so they ignore swathes of evidence to the contrary even though it is served up in easy-to-read bites by the BC. This is one of the sure signs of spin.
By contrast, the BC fully recognises the dangers of cannabis -- in my view exaggerating them considerably. But even so, they demonstrate that the harms of prohibiting it are greater than those of using it.
See previous post on the BC here.