And… this is what our readers had to say.
Steph Hodgkinson is not one who is ‘for legalisation’ of cannabis saying; “People might think it's harmless but its long term use contributes to mental health problems”, naturally her comment received a number of responses, namely from Ben Johnson, who said that; “the dangers of alcohol far outweigh the dangers of Cannabis use it actually has 100s of health benefits and is used worldwide to treat a variety of illnesses. Alcohol on the other hand is a cold hard addictive killer. For the record I don’t use cannabis and I do drink alcohol.”
James Hodson shared his concerns, saying that; “If it was legalised it would have to be taxable and don't think that would be possible. Govt has no reason to legalise it.” A point that was quickly disputed by a number of people, including John Hackett who said; “Canada has legalised it, and they make millions on the taxation”, which it did with C$186 million (CAD) in 2020 alone in tax revenue. Liam Marc highlighted its positive impact on his own personal mental health problems, saying that it’s; “better than any tablets they put me on, trust me, been on loads and cannabis is 10000% better thats just my opinion though”.
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Paul Milton is of the belief that; “if its legal then it will be regulated, thus taxed. It helps to put the dealers out of business. And the quality would be guaranteed. Some of the Money generated from tax could be used to help fund mental health organisations. And the NHS. And in case you're wondering, no, I do not smoke, take drugs, or drink.” This is something else that Mike Walker agrees on, saying; “It could be taxed with the revenue going to the NHS which in turn would keep weed profits out of the hands of criminals/gangs etc. On top of this, if the police didn’t have to bother themselves with it, then it would free up time & money for more important stuff.” Decriminalisation in favour of taxation and regulation seems to be the view of many of the respondents, with Thom Marsh saying; “The amount of police resources we waste on it at the moment is astonishing”, and Jason Smith highlighted the seemingly successful roll out in elsewhere; “I think since Canada and several States in America have legalised it we've learned that all the horror stories we were told about its legalisation were just lies. Not only would it generate income and take away money from organised crime but it could be used to treat a multitude of illnesses and we could also use hemp to replace a lot of the plastic we use as a renewable biodegradable alternative.”
Aimee Cooper says that we should; “Legalize, regulate, monitor and tax it. Take it out of a gate way and allows a safer use of a substance.”
Finally (for this piece at least), Sarah Louise highlights the positive impacts better regulation and access could have on people’s health; “as a person living with multiple chronic pain conditions I wish they bloody would. As it stands cannabis oil is ridiculously expensive making it not accessible for the majority that would benefit from it. Not to mention the con artists ripping people off with bad products and fake lab reports” — can’t really argue with that.
What is clear from this dicussion is that quite a few people, even those who choose not to partake in its use, are in support of the legalisation, regulation and subsequent taxation of marijuana. Whether this will actually (if ever) come to pass, we shall see. But if you’d like to read the other comments on the topic, you can check out the discussion on Facebook here and on over on Twitter here.