discursive essay on the legalisation of cannabis; different peoples views and arguments for and against it.

Essay by ash505 February 2003

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An issue that creates heated debate almost anywhere you go is the legalisation of cannabis. There are two different opinions: one, that cannabis should not become legal because it leads on to the use of harder drugs and causes more petty crime. The second view is that if it became legal then fewer people would have to sneak around to get cannabis and therefore not get caught up in the underworld of drugs, and that would stop the lead on to harder drugs. Also cannabis can be used for medical purposes such as a painkiller, and to relieve the symptoms of diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

I don't believe that the use of drugs necessarily leads on to the use of harder drugs. The argument that the use of cannabis leads on to the use of harder drugs is called the Gateway Theory, which is now seldom used by the British Government.

Yet some people continually state this as if it were a fact, whist still others, even some who advocate the full legalisation of cannabis, continue to insist that it is the social setting in which cannabis is taken that leads onto hard drug use. Such arguments are often based on the idea that if one is in an environment where people are smoking tobacco for example then, if they were smoking it before, they will restart or if they had not done it before then they will start. The truth is that it is not because they are in that environment, but it is because they may be encouraged to start or restart by other people. There is nothing within cannabis itself that automatically leads the user to use harder drugs. In fact cannabis is less addictive than caffeine. And also users say...