We live in strange times. Only a few days ago, Sky News was reporting how health activists are lobbying the government to do something about an incredibly dangerous substance.
Some frightful harridan told viewers how little was being done to stop its consumption and that this amounted to a scandal.
The substance was salt. The woman, who represents an organisation called Action on Salt, was disturbed by the fact that sugar was getting lots of attention at the cost of salt.
That was last week. This week it is the turn of another substance to generate a debate: cannabis.
Lord Hague admitted the war against had been lost. Police officers are urging politicians to rethink the legislation which prohibits its use. Parents demand the law around medicinal use is changed in order to help their children. An east Kent GP tells the Canterbury Journal that it is not a dangerous drug. Justin Trudeau’s government in Canada has legislated to make it legal.
Meanwhile, in the residential streets of Canterbury, in the parks, and in people’s homes, its pungent aroma is everywhere.
For an activity that is – according to the letter of the law – criminal, few seem to care either that they risk the authorities arresting for them or that their neighbours might frown upon their behaviour.
And why should they? The only people they are harming are themselves.
There are numerous reasons cannabis should be legalised. It would generate revenue through taxation. It would not act as a millstone around the necks of police officers who must technically take action when they encounter it. It would take its production out of the hands of organised criminals. It would no longer serve as the gateway to other drugs. It causes far fewer public order issues than alcohol.
But the truth is there is one gigantic reason for legalising it: freedom – the freedom to make choices about how we wish to lead our lives.
So long as an people’s life does not interfere with the activities of others, then they should be free to do what they want.
It’s not complicated.