The Ban on Cannabis is justified and right. #TeaRoom


Much is made of the health effects of comparable substances. Alcohol and tobacco are frequently trumpeted as more dangerous than cannabis. This may be true, but they are dangerous in different ways. While tobacco and alcohol can kill you, and are frequently seen as evil and wicked because of that reason, (in a puritanical, temperance movement kind of way) they do not have the capacity of marijuana to cause brain damage and the general retarding of mental function. It is often said how cannabis has never killed anyone, or at least directly, compared to the rather large butcher’s bill for the two substances mentioned above. Again, this may be true, but it is a question of actual effects, and especially on those around us.

Cannabis use is frequently seen as a victimless crime – it is, as the rallying cry of stoners goes, a personal decision what we put into our own bodies. But the patchwork of interdependence which constitutes our personal relationships belies this idea. What we have then is this: physical damage verses mental, brain against brawn (so to speak). Most people would prefer to have schizophrenia than fatal lung cancer or liver disease. But would your family? A death is always traumatic, and not as easy to get over if it is brought on by self-indulgence; but it can be gotten-over, that’s the point. Yes, Fred is dead, but on the plus side, we’ll have all forgotten him within a year.

Hanging around? That is exactly the problem, writes James Snell.

Compare that, (relatively) happy scenario with that of someone having bad side effects from too many spliffs. They hang on, tenaciously, while their whole family secretly wishes they’d preferred lager or Rothman’s. Sure you can die smoking to excess; you can most certainly drink yourself into an early grave. Have you never thought that this is actually the point in the first place? Surely it is better for you to pop you clogs early than to hang around, perpetually in the wings, leeching, even if unknowingly, off of your family’s reserves of kindness and concern?

It is callous, I know, and I have frequently been reigned in when trying to impart my message to others. On one occasion, I was dragged off a school debating podium by a team-mate who then had to make a grovelling apology to a roomful of emotionally shattered Year Sevens, who had reacted rather adversely to my suggestion that mummy would rather they were dead than a burden. But the point remains. In a competitive world, why should we continue to tolerate those who through their excessive cannabis consumption don’t even have the good grace to die?

The pragmatic case for cheap alcohol is that those who are likely to be heavy drinkers will do so anyway, and making it easier for them to achieve that early end they’ve been longing for is in everyone’s best interests. They get what they want, and their families, as well as local health care resources and society in general, get them out of the picture is quickly and humanely as possible. Add in a few funny drunken Facebook snaps and you’ve got a whole lifestyle.

Drunks are, after all, more entertaining, and can also prove rather useful in fields other than manual labour: writing, professional sports, acting, politics, etc. Before they do their patriotic duty and snuff it, I want to wring at least some humour from them, and some smokers are vaguely tolerable. But junkies are just so boring; they don’t have much comic potential, let alone any other skills. Watching a high man dance isn’t funny, it’s just depressing, but as soon as a boozy chap takes to the dance floor, you know you’re in for a whole night of top-notch viewing. See what I mean?

So, instead of legalising marijuana, we all need to realise the real use of the ban. It isn’t to keep people safe; it is the exact opposite of that: it’s to stop people from being too safe. People with addictive personalities will always find something to misuse, and so why on Earth would we want to let them get hold of something which will incapacitate them, but not get rid of them? It seems like a lost cause, as well as a giant waste of time and money, to me. So, to those who still don’t get why we need cannabis to be banned, as well as those wastes of space who would hedonistically indulge in it anyway, I say this: fancy a pint?


  1. The nature of this article is insulting to the intelligence, features many incorrect and unfounded myths and bad science. There is no proof and no chance that cannabis causes greater brain impairment than alcohol and the childish, prejudiced argument for prohibtion is a sure sign that the author is more against the type of people that use cannabis than the substance itself. You also are in favour of death over any disability aswell i see which is a worry completely separate to the issue at hand. One can only imagine you yourself like a drink Mr Snell, you do a good job of justifying your own drug use in your world im sure. Sorry sir, but you are in fact immoral or least morally twisted if this is your idea of a serious opinion. If this is not serious and your just being provocative, please get a proper job and get over yourself.

  2. Dear Mr Snell, you’ve got to be a troll of the lowest order. You can’t be serious writing garbage like this; or maybe that’s just your point. Either way I’ve just wasted 10 minutes of my life on this crap. Whenever I see your name on an article I’ll know not to bother.

  3. A rather silly article. On the basis of the argument, the writer would support legalising meth amphetamine and crack cocaine, but not cannabis, as the first two are much more harmful.

  4. You sound like a 60 year old man talking about things you’ve heard on TV as if they were facts…referring to cannabis smokers as junkies case in point. All of your supposed evidence for the ban in cannabis is right out of the propaganda hand book run by governments during the early 20th Century when they were looking to get a world wide ban…for example, the so called “capacity of marijuana to cause brain damage” was taken from an experiment on chimps. A gas mask was placed on the chimp and the equivalent of 60 spliffs was inhaled over a short period of time….any brain damage was caused by lack of oxygen to the brain not the cannabis itself,

    The most recent research suggests cannabis stimulates the chemicals involved with cell growth in the brain, contradicting the so called dumbing down of a stoner. The same goes for your link to schizophrenia, studies have only shown a small number of people (as in less than 4%) may be more susceptible to the illness if they consume large quantities over a significant period of time and had a history of mental illness in the family…that doesn’t equate to cannabis causing schizophrenia, quite far from it I’d say.

    As for incapacitating people, how? It doesn’t stop you doing anything you didn’t want to do already…I’ve travelled the world, studied music as an undergrad, law as a postgrad and currently setting up my own business…all while blazing happily as and when I felt like it. I suggest obtaining actual facts about a subject or at least listening to people who have some experience in the area you’re writing about such as Prof. David Nutt for example…I thought spreading opinion as if they were facts had already been patented by FOX News.

    So, that leaves you with “drunks are more entertaining” and “at least they’d die quicker if they were drinking/smoking”…all I can say to that is grab a crate of absinthe, a few thousand fags and have at it mate! Just make sure you post up the pictures for our entertainment before you leave us please, you know how us “stoner’s” like a giggle.

  5. I wasn’t sure whether this article was serious or not, I hope it isn’t. In the case of legalising pot, surely people should be given the general decency to choose whether to smoke it or not. “Drunks are, after all, more entertaining…” – just one of the quotes in this article which I found hugely demoralising. I thought the Libertarianism belief was one that gave people the right to their own lives, and after reading this article I guess not.

    • Hi, there is a distinction to be made between our politics and blogs articles to those which fall in our Tea Room. Tea Room articles are for all views, and therefore don’t represent Libertarian (or quite possibly the websites) POV.

  6. I briefly attended the egregious death party in Trafalgar Square on Saturday evening. The vast majority of the unpeople in attendance were intoxicated, presumably predominantly through cannabis. One man was smeared in lemon curd, and insisted on telling me how the matrix is real and Churchill was an alien.
    Retardation doesn’t do it justice.

  7. “..the capacity of marijuana to cause brain damage and the general retarding of mental function”. I’m not sure where you got that information from. Marijuana does not cause brain damage or mental retardation. It is alcohol that causes brain cell death.

    “Drunks are, after all, more entertaining, and can also prove rather useful in fields other than manual labour: writing, professional sports, acting, politics, etc”. Don’t forget that a large proportion of violent crimes in the UK are alcohol-related and that drunk driving can be life-threatening. I’d also point out that no-one has killed someone in a car because they were driving stoned – not that I condone that sort of behaviour anyway.

    “But junkies are just so boring; they don’t have much comic potential, let alone any other skills”. Come on, some of the most entertaining people in the world have been avid cannabis users. Carl Sagan, Bob Marley, The Beatles, countless other musicians and countless comedians.

    Also, I don’t believe that cannabis causes schizophrenia. The research on the subject doesn’t show whether cannabis is the cause or the effect of schizophrenia. Since cannabis is a commonly used drug, it may just be that a small percentage of schizophrenics also use cannabis. There may be an association between the two, but correlation does not mean causation. There might be a risk if someone predisposed with schizophrenia (or any mental disorder) used cannabis, but it’s silly to suggest that in order to avoid this risk cannabis should be banned for everyone.

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