Cannabis should be legalised - parent

CANNABIS plants should be legalised, dose regulated, taxed and have re-education and special amounts at point of sale, says a concerned parent who spoke out this week. 

Parent Frederick Abed said the use of the cannabis has escalated in the country over the years, especially among unemployed youths. 

He said and many young people who overuse it are addicted and are badly affected. Many became more dependent and lazy. 

“But if the government legalises it, it will mean that people will grow it like Kava and sell it for money,” he said. 

“Youth unemployment has been a very big issue in the country. If marijuana is legalised, these kids who have nothing to do, they can grow it, sell and make money for their living.” 

He said that the plant should be legalised, dose regulated, taxed and have education re-examination and dosage advice at the point of sale..

“The government should come in and assist the young people now to deal with before it is too late. 

“Making drugs or cannabis illegal guarantees gross profits, which guarantees supply and the crime which goes with both supply and addiction,” Mr Abed said. 

He said the issue sadly gives votes to power seeking politicians but it denies the reality that only one person in the world can stop someone using drugs and that is that person themselves. 

The concerned parent said he was one of the many passengers on board the ferry (Big Sister) from Epi Island to Port Vila one time. 

On board there were some 60 young people from and around Malekula, with police escorts, who had been arrested for planting, distributing or consuming cannabis. 

“And I was thinking, legalising cannabis could potentially make millions in tax revenue and save millions in expensive law enforcement, policing, jails, health, and social costs and more. 

“Evidence-based laws make more sense and the huge benefits are now obvious in many other countries that have embraced change,” he said. 

“Cannabis is a plant on Earth for centuries, with a myriad of uses, and it can be so easy if we will only look at the facts or the good side of it.” 

He said the plant originally is a beautiful plant created by God but man abused it. 

There are many uses to the cannabis plant, but authorities focus on one, which is smoking or inhaling. 

“When we criminalize those who use cannabis, we waste money on transportation, remand, prosecution, court and prison, rather than using it for education and health. 

“Unfortunately, while this strategy doesn’t work, it actually makes it worse as we stigmatize users and exacerbate their needs so they want to use more drugs or beat the system to become heroes. 

“Alternatively they seek peer group acceptance in using or hide behind mum and dad’s back and so we kill the parent- child communication that could help people experiment and learn, rather than collect guilt and shame and want to use more drugs to alleviate the pain,” he said. 

“Cannabis plant should be legalised and taxed. We should use all the taxes of all drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, to help those who want to stop and educate about the facts of drugs and addiction.” 

He said addicts are valuable people who may not know it and we don’t help them by stigmatizing them as ‘bad’ or ‘sick’. 

Mr Abed said denial is always part of the addiction equation and our current drug strategies in the system are based on denial, power and punishment, these make people feel worse. 

“I know if I want to help someone get off drugs, I need to help them feel better than drugs do or why would they want to stop?” 

“We need to get real or government must have a strategy plan and resources in place now to build mental institutions to accommodate hundreds of our young people who are now addicts. 

“We need rehabilitation programs not locking them up with rapist, murderous etc...

This is a disaster that our government cannot escape,” Mr Abed said. 

“We are an independent nation and we should not allow other countries to come in and influence us with their aid and try to put in their laws into our country. 

“We have to see what is t for us and we know how to control our people. 

It is still a small population. Then we find ways on how to control the use of marijuana.” 

He said the use of marijuana is becoming an issue and the government cannot overlook it. 

“They cannot put the drug users in prison for drugs because many of these users have family problems, especially when their parents divorced or are under heavy influence of kava and alcohol, and parents cannot pay their kids fees.” 

He said then the kid is thrown out of school and hangs around doing nothing but got influenced in using the drug. 

He said many countries are now legalising the drug as it is proven to have excellent medicinal purposes.


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