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Alcohol use is Legal, yet Cannabis use is Illegal

Across the developed world alcohol use is seen as a normal part of life whereas cannabis use is illegal and as an effect is regarded as antisocial and wrong. Many of the people who regularly drink alcohol yet would regard cannabis use as antisocial and wrong may not be informed of the actual facts about the differences in the effects of the use of each. Most of us already know that the health risks associated with consuming alcohol are immense compared to the relatively small health effects of cannabis use. But many consider the health effects to be of less consequence to society compared to differences in the socioeconomic impact of alcohol use compared to cannabis use.

The Socioeconomic Effects of Alcohol Use

  • Alcohol and crime go hand in hand: 40% of all violent crimes in the UK are alcohol related – this is a major social factor – almost half of all violent crime!
  • Non-violent crime such as drink driving also have a major social impact on people’s personal lives, but also costs a fortune every year for the police and courts to try to keep it under control.
  • Not only does the actual crime caused by alcohol consumption cost a lot but even trying to police the criminal effects of alcohol consumption costs a fortune every year: not just including instances when police have to be called out because of alcohol related incidents but also just to have extra police on the streets at night when bars and nightclubs close.
  • More than a million people are admitted to hospital every year in the UK due to alcohol related incidents. This not only demonstrates a social impact because of the effect on people’s health but also a major economic impact due to the large cost on the NHS.
  • Apart from accidents and crime incidents due to alcohol, alcohol consumption is one of the top three causes of disease and death every year.
  • Alcohol consumption is the main catalyst  for domestic abuse: more than 60% of all incidents of violent crime between partners have happened when one or both of the partners were consuming alcohol.

The Socioeconomic Effects of Cannabis Prohibition

The socioeconomic effects of cannabis can be measured not only in its use but also in its prohibition:

  • There have been some incidents of people driving while heavily under the influence of cannabis, but apart from this and the ‘crime’ of possessing or distributing cannabis there aren’t many, if any, other cannabis related crimes reported about the UK.
  • Cannabis use causes a person to be calmer than normal. Cannabis strains such as Super Silver Haze and Big Buddha Cheese will cause the user to become “chilled out” and happy and not even have a thought of causing any trouble. So the use of cannabis has the complete opposite effect to alcohol in making someone consider committing crime.
  • 75% of resources that are used for drug enforcement are used up with enforcing this pacifying drug. If cannabis was legalised then resources could be better used to combat the serious hard drugs that cause so many socioeconomic problems all over the world.
  • Also a major point is that if cannabis was legalised the government could tax the revenue from its sales and make a lot of money to make the country and stronger country and a better place to live in.
  • Legalising cannabis would also reduce organised crime that profit from the distribution of cannabis at present. This would mean that less money would be filter into the world of crime and more money filtered into the world of the honest hard working man and woman.

Summary Question: Should Cannabis Use be Illegal While Drinking Alcohol is Still Legal?

In summary it can be seen that alcohol consumption causes a lot of suffering! Families all over the UK and the world have suffered pain, injury and death because of the effects of alcohol consumption. Cannabis consumption does not provide the same undesirable effects and it is clear to see that if alcohol use in the UK was switched to cannabis use then there would be a lot less pain and suffering in the country, and there would be a lot more money for the country to spend on much more worthwhile things.

From these points alone it is clear that there is a very strong case for the legalisation of cannabis.

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