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Legalization – for and against
The pleasant relaxation caused by cannabis opposes the main values of western societies. Those values include activity, diligence, and aggressive (of course to a certain level) aspiration for self-expression. On the other hand every type of society needs something for relaxation; to get drunk because of happiness or sorrow is considered by people all over the world as something normal. This close resemblance between the hatred towards alcohol in the Islamic fundamentalists and the campaign against legalization of marijuana is hardly accidental. This campaign is mainly maintained in Europe and in the USA. The most vigorous antagonists of cannabis say that their arguments concern the moral (this is how they understand it) and they don’t need any scientific proofs.
The final and the strongest argument of those who dislike cannabis is that it is not lethal but it is a “step” to drugs that may have fatal effects. The reason for this people may find in the statistics. It is true that many of the drug-takers, addicted to heroin, earlier were using cannabis. But those statistics also show that this fact is also true even in greater degree for those who used to drink a lot and those who used smoke tobacco frequently. It’s very hard to tell which is the reason and which is the consequence. The connection between cannabis and the rest of the narcotics could be called associative. But no one can deny the fact that the usage of cannabis gets people acquainted with the environment where stronger drugs are easier to find. On the other hand this is a result of the prohibition of cannabis, after which the ordinary garden plant has turned into “the forbidden fruit”, that may be brought only from drug-dealers. As a whole it looks like that whether a person uses cannabis as a bridge to stronger drugs or not, depends only on the particular personality.
Despite the strong resistance, cannabis is the only forbidden narcotic that has real chances of being legalized soon. All scientific researches show that marijuana is a relatively harmful narcotic that can be easily tamed by modern society. In many countries manuals for hemp cultivation and products preparation are being sold; recently this information is also being updated in the Internet. In thirteen states in the USA the possession of cannabis is not considered as a crime and even in Alaska its production is allowed by law as long as it is not cultivated for sale. In some European countries with old liberal traditions cannabis is actually legalized – the Netherlands are the perfect example. A research in Amsterdam has shown that for a short time after the legalization the usage of cannabis has increased, and then has fallen down and then it has stabilized to a certain level, a little bit lower than it was before the legalization. As people have said centuries ago the immense efforts in the fight against cannabis look ridiculous in comparison to the insignificant damage that it may have.