Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Legal Pot - for export only

Scotsman.com News - Drugs policy - UK cannabis firm launches MS treatment

Oh - the hypocrisy of it! Barely a week goes by and there's another farce to report on the cannabis issue. The pharmaceutical version of marijuana, known as Sativex, is manufactured under government license in Britain but not allowed for prescription to its residents. It is however now available for export to Canada as this link reports. Talk about double standards!

Last night's news also once again raised the thorny issue of the government's propsed ban on all smoking in public places. There was a suggestion that office workers would not even be allowed to indulge by popping outdoors. I consume an appalling amount of tobacco product and wish I didn't. Although I actually approve of discouraging the habit, I can't subscribe to draconian measures that go way beyond protection for "passive smokers". Far more harm is done to the lungs of non-smokers by the exhaust fumes of motor vehicles and other 21st Century air pollution than from cigarette emissions except in highly enclosed spaces.

The irony is that the treasury relies on both forms of pollution to impose duties which bring in additional revenue. Many pot smokers aslo end up with a tobacco habit simply because its use is intertwined with the culture of smoking. If the government had any sense at all it would allow Sativex to be sold over the counter as a healthy alternative to the variety currently burned and inhaled. Then again, foresight and intelligence are not attributes commonly associated with beaurocracies.


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