As the war on drugs is losing all and any credibility it once had, are the habits of cannabis users already deemed socially acceptable?
I am not a stoner. Nor do I smoke cigarettes. I know many many people who do both, and you know what? Neither are as potentially problematic as the drunken mess that stumbles out of a bar at 4am on a Saturday night. The type of mess that either becomes an easy target for criminals or indeed becomes involved in a dirty fight.
Yes, in the UK weed is illegal. Yes, being caught in possession will force action from the Police. However, unless you are daft enough to parade it quite freely in public, chances are you’ll get away with it. Whilst most people disagree with the principle of any form of cannabis use, the recent hike in educational videos has relaxed a lot of people’s prejudices, even the BBC are now starting to air the reality of using marijuana.
An example to these relaxed opinions: I work in the leisure industry, specifically in football. I have now started to see customers of various outlets begin to smoke cannabis on premises quite obviously under the watch of CCTV cameras. The management of these establishments do nothing. At first I was quite startled, then I began to realise that for many people weed is as much an everyday occurence then a glass of wine before bed.
Alot of people are realising the truth: That weed remains illegal because the government would struggle to tax the lucrative business of grow-ops. This is indeed a result of their own illiberal attitude. Whilst talking hard on drugs is all well and good the reality of the situation means that criminals are the ones selling weed to anyone who will buy it. The most worrying demographic is young, impressionable children who, ironically are the most vulnerable to the negative aspects of weed. And guess what? The stricter the legislation, the higher the street value. Our government is dealing us a disservice by continuing in this fashion. The alternative? Strict government vendors, which sell the drug only to those who can provide proof of ID and use it on private property. The state gets a cut, the individual gets a safe product and the criminals get nothing. Much better then the current system, I think.
I am not suggesting that weed is a problem free drug. Addiction can be an issue and the practice of smoking anything will damage your lungs, regardless of the substance. It is however, scientifically proven to be less harmful than tobacco, less problematic than alcohol (by problematic I mean less likely to result in violence), and less addictive than caffeine. On the up side, it does promote creativity and original thought. It also helps people relax, but you already knew that. With moderate use it is indeed no more dangerous than the “big three” legal drugs and with an increasing amount of people realising this use of cannabis is on the rise.
So I come back to the original question. Is it already legal? It’s certainly getting there in a social sense.