Posted by: Emily Hardaker4 FEB 2013
Over the past few months the legalisation of Marijuana in theAmerican states of Colorado and Washington has led to many discussionsconcerning the legal state of recreational drugs in this country. Twitteralso brought to my attention an American website called Marijuana Majority thatis basically a petition stating the case for the legalisation of Cannabis infurther US states. It is endorsed by several celebrities, politicians,scientists, economists, entertainers etc. Most notably Morgan Freeman himselfis featured on the front page of the website stating how he believes the drugshould be legalised and taxed the same as alcohol.
There has always been people who think drugs should be legalisedand those who don't, however we have the scientific evidence of the effects ofrecreational drugs but the social evidence is inconclusive. This is becauseno one can predict the effects legalisation will have on society. Personally Ithink this will depend very much on the drugs involved.
There was a documentaryon BBC three recently called 'Crazy for Party Drugs' and followed severalpeople in Leeds through a night out and afterwards. The main point made was howeasy it was to get these drugs even though they are illegal. One 23 year oldgirl admitted to taking 7-9 grams of Mephedrone per day, with her main worrybeing that she will still be in the same boat when she's 30 or 40 years old notwhat long term physiological effects the drug is having.
The programme followedher on a night out in Huddersfield after she had been clean for 2 weeks,despite her claims of being drug free she disappeared for the following 3 daysand on returning admitted to falling off the wagon. From this story the mostpoignant moment was the interview with her father who appeared almostdistraught in those few days, especially as he appeared to be failing to stopthe idea of her being dead in a ditch somewhere reappearing in his head. Thisis relevant because the effects of legalisation on society don't always focuson the destruction it can cause to the families of users and not just the usersthemselves.
Later in the documentary a user described mephedrone with thephrase 'the devil's dandruff', which whilst being quite an amusing image seemsto be one that is quite accurate especially in reference to the story above.
Inconclusion there is no way to predict the long term effects of these substancesif made legal, and if it were to take a turn for the worse how would we rectifythe damage without putting further strain on the National Health Service?