Prohibition of cannabis counter-productive

Oct 08, 2010

Prohibition of cannabis in the United States may be counter-productive, with a new study showing that a period of increased law enforcement against the drug coincided with an increase in the number of young adult cannabis users smoking cheaper and more potent produce.

The report, Tools for Debate: US Federal Government Data on Prohibition, conducted by researchers from the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy in Vancouver, focused on the effects of national drug prohibition in recent decades, and in an editorial published online this week for the (BMJ), Professor Robin Room from the University of Melbourne and Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Center, outlined why this new evidence should be used to reassess approaches to America’s management of cannabis use.

“The evidence from the Tools for Debate report is not only that the prohibition system is not achieving its aims, but that more efforts in the same direction only worsen results,” he said.

According to the report, the US federal antidrug budget increased from about $1.5bn in 1981 to more than $18bn in 2002. Between 1990 and 2006, cannabis related arrests increased from fewer than 350,000 to more than 800,000 annually and seizures of cannabis from less than 500,000 lb to more than 2.5 million lb. In the same period, the retail price of cannabis decreased by more than half, the potency increased, and the proportion of users who were young adults went up from about 25% to more than 30%. Intensified enforcement of cannabis prohibition thus did not have the intended effects.

Professor Room said the challenge for researchers and policy analysts in light of these findings was to flesh out the details of an effective regulatory system. He suggested that countries who chose to adopt a new approach to cannabis control could allow a regulated legal domestic market while keeping in place international market controls.

“State control instruments - such as licensing regimens, inspectors, and sales outlets run by the government – which are still in place for in some areas could be extended to cover cannabis and would provide workable and well-controlled retail outlets for cannabis,” he said.

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User comments : 22

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Eric_B
5 / 5 (5) Oct 08, 2010
"countries who chose to adopt a new approach to cannabis control could allow a regulated legal domestic market while keeping in place international market controls."

i.e. dicriminalize and clamp down and tax our little gangsters while keeping the status quo for the big boys.
ThisNameTaken
4 / 5 (8) Oct 08, 2010
Patent number 6,630,507 awarded in 2003 based on research by the Nat'l Inst. of Health, assigned to the US Dept. of Health + Human Services. This patent states cannabinoids are useful in prevention/treatment of a wide variety of diseases.

Here is a legal document, in the public domain, which flies in the face of the US Government's position on the classification of cannabis as a Schedule I substance having no "accepted medical use."

Big Pharma and the Liquor companies spend billions each year lobbying to keep cannabis illegal. Both want you spending your money on their drugs, not naturally occurring ones. Marinol has been around since the 80's and is a Schedule III drug; the naturally occurring form is Schedule I. This ensures Big Pharma gets their cut.

The lynch pin in the War on Drugs is cannabis. Without suppression/interdiction of this substance, there would not be enough "illegal drug use" going on to justify the huge amount of $ and resources spent.
ziprar
1.6 / 5 (7) Oct 08, 2010
"Big Pharma and the Liquor companies spend billions each year lobbying to keep cannabis illegal."

Thats the money well spent.
Quantum_Conundrum
1 / 5 (15) Oct 08, 2010
Maybe we should legalize murder since per-capita murder rates seem to trend upward over the long term, in spite of all the spending to prevent murders and to capture and prosecute murderers.

While we are at it, let's legalize terrorism, since the war on terror isn't have it's desired effect.

Then there's rape and incest, let's go ahead and legalize those too.

Oh wait, let's not.

this whole, "everybody does it anyway, so it may as well be legal" thing is precisely the WRONG way to go.

We need more surveillance, and we need steeper minimum penalties for possessing or selling these poisons.
Palli
5 / 5 (7) Oct 08, 2010
QC: Please read up a bit on the plant before calling it poison.
philstovell
4.5 / 5 (8) Oct 08, 2010
QC: Can't you tell the difference between smoking a joint and the list of violent crimes you list?
Skeptic_Heretic
4.1 / 5 (9) Oct 08, 2010
No phil, he can't. He eats whatever FAUX news tells him to eat hook line and sinker.

Did Kev or getgoa pay his buddies to found Physorg accounts? We have a recent influx of evidencless bigoted morons around. I'd sincerely like to see this stop, especially since even they don't agree with the garbage the spew on these boards.
dtxx
3.9 / 5 (11) Oct 09, 2010
Suggesting rape and murder are equivalent to smoking a joint makes about as much sense as thinking so because an invisible man in the sky who cares where you put your penis and gets to judge you after you die told you to.
marjon
1.6 / 5 (7) Oct 09, 2010
Those pot smoking (and non smoking) liberals use moral relativism to promote their agenda.
What is good for the goose is good for the gander.
For the record, I support decriminalization of all currently illegal drugs. I don't want them taxed as the state has a conflict of interest: promoting drugs for revenue or discouraging drug use for health.
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (5) Oct 09, 2010
Those pot smoking (and non smoking) liberals use moral relativism to promote their agenda.
Moral relativism is the basis of the majority of political and social ideologies. What's your point?
marjon
1 / 5 (7) Oct 09, 2010
Those pot smoking (and non smoking) liberals use moral relativism to promote their agenda.
Moral relativism is the basis of the majority of political and social ideologies. What's your point?

It is amusing to see pot promoters complain about being compared to rapists.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 09, 2010
It is amusing to see pot promoters complain about being compared to rapists.
Yeah, none of us want to be compared to religious leaders.
Peter_Reynolds
Oct 09, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
marjon
1.7 / 5 (6) Oct 09, 2010
Given California's current level of productivity and presumed widespread use of drugs, how will legalization improve productivity/work ethics in California?
Recall how the Brits and Americans (FDRs family) 'enslaved' Chinese with opium?
philstovell
3.9 / 5 (7) Oct 09, 2010
.... I don't want them taxed as the state has a conflict of interest: promoting drugs for revenue or discouraging drug use for health.


The state does very well out of the revenue earned from tobacco and alcohol, both drugs that are more harmful than cannabis.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) Oct 09, 2010
Given California's current level of productivity and presumed widespread use of drugs, how will legalization improve productivity/work ethics in California?
You mean the technological strong hold known as Silicon Valley or the agricultural strong hold in the south of the State?
Recall how the Brits and Americans (FDRs family) 'enslaved' Chinese with opium?
Actually that's a myth. Health and History 7/1 2005; Caroline Clark Page 115.
http://www.histor...br_5.pdf
marjon
2 / 5 (4) Oct 09, 2010
"By the early 18th century, opium smoking was spreading across China, prompting the empire's first attempt at suppression in 1729 when the Emperor Yung Cheng issued an edict banning the smoking of opium. "
"In the midst of the acute demographic and caloric crisis of southeastern China in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries, opium attributes as a appetite suppressant may have increased its appeal to users at a time of scarcity and high food prices. At certain periods, the use of opium may have suppressed appetite sufficiently to make its addiction economical in comparison to the cost of eating a normal diet. "
http://www.a1b2c3...i009.htm
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) Oct 10, 2010
Ok, and how does that equate to opium slavery?
Simonsez
5 / 5 (1) Oct 11, 2010
@ Quantum Conundrum
Maybe we should legalize murder since per-capita murder rates seem to trend upward over the long term, in spite of all the spending to prevent murders and to capture and prosecute murderers.

While we are at it, let's legalize terrorism, since the war on terror isn't have it's desired effect.

Then there's rape and incest, let's go ahead and legalize those too.


Why not liken them to nazis and Hitler, so you can go ahead and finish off any potential credibility you may have had at any point.
mysticshakra
1 / 5 (2) Oct 11, 2010
Nobody has any right to tell you what you can or cannot consume. It isn't the governments business to regulate your diet. If they can outlaw this, they can outlaw sugar, salt and anything else you like.
Roj
4 / 5 (1) Oct 16, 2010
increased law enforcement against the drug coincided with an increase in ..users
Alcohol-Prohibition had similar results, before mostly repealed.

Modern legislators are not ignorant of repeal precedent, nor lessons learned in the 1930's, but are lacking repeal-organization support, which favored controlled-substance regulation to stop the underground economy, gangs, and drug cartels of their day.
https://secure.wi...izations
mysticshakra
1 / 5 (1) Oct 30, 2010
They don't require support to do the right thing and stay out of peoples lives. Since when have they ever waited till they had support when it came to taxing you or restricting your liberty? This is not a democracy in case you've forgotten.

Also, there is a ton of money flowing through the prison industry now that wasn't around during prohibition (which was also unconstitutional btw).
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Oct 30, 2010
Also, there is a ton of money flowing through the prison industry

One of the most power unions in CA is the union of prison guards.