Richard Branson’s drugs plea
SIR Richard Branson has claimed Spain could help solve its economic woes — by legalising cannabis.
The Virgin boss, 61, said tax from sales of the drug would resolve some of the country’s problems and “help lift its head.”
Billionaire Branson also praised a Spanish town’s “great idea” to allow cannabis to be cultivated for cash to pay off debts.
The people of Rasquera agreed in a referendum to rent municipal land to a cannabis smokers’ association.
Branson was speaking in Barcelona at the launch of the world’s largest cannabis museum. It opens today with 6,000 exhibits chronicling the drug’s history and uses.
Branson serves on the Global Commission on Drug Policy, which wants to decriminalise drug use “by people who do no harm to others”.
He described Holland’s recent legislation banning foreigners buying cannabis in coffee shops as a “step backwards”.
the people who argue that "by legalising cannabis you are encouraging them to go onto harder drugs" is saying that if i have a salad for lunch, I'd turn vegan. It is ridiculous to make the 2 associations and 100% NOT backed up by most criminology, sociology or psychology studies.
Why don't we try a radical experiment?
(1) Legalise Cannabis for a trial period; say 3 years. After the allotted time, take a broad overview and see if the Prohibitionists have got it right or if the legalisation lobby had their facts right all along.
(2) Based on it's harm to society, criminalise the most dangerous of the legal drugs. We can compare cannabis harm to alcohol harm for example, or perhaps tobacco. The one that has the greatest negative impact on society goes. I wonder which it will be?
Seems fair to me.
mostannoyed----------Man do you waffle a load of tripe or what,so judging by your ethos every person who has drunk a beer is going to be a raging alcoholic on two+bottles of spirits unable to control himself? yes-- i mean.after all alcohol is a chemically altered substance which according to your strange thought process MUST lead to this eventually,if a natural product like cannabis will do it,alcohol must--err no,Oh-and neural pathways are not affect by any substance,only by electrical chemical activity of the brain itself,-ie,.The sensory neural pathways set the brain's ability to interpret signals that control intellectual, emotional, psychological and physical responses to stimuli. The sensory systems ie. vision, hearing, touch, taste, smell and proprioceptor motion bring sensory signals to the brain and then interpret those signals. During development there is a critical period for sensory neural circuits. To form what is known as synapses (the connection between neurons that helps to carry these signals from neuron to neuron ), stimuli is needed. When this stimulation is not available in the critical period and deficits occur in the region of the cortex responsible, it can not be corrected at a later stage.NOTHING to do with stimuli from imbibed sources--so please refrain from talking Bs.
PierreLebeouf Yes, all the mental wards are full of potheads and every ally is full of smack heads, maybe in France (assumption made purely on the name) but i dont know a single person that has been put in a mental ward from smoking weed mate, show me the stats and i will take it back :)
Legalising a drug is nothing like legalising burglary or murder. That's just such a childish exaggeration it's comical.
Was legalising CB radio, trade unions and homosexuality like legalising theft and murder?
The punishment for a crime should fit the crime and when it shouldn't even be a crime then the law making it a crime should be repealed.
@PierreLebeouf Please provide proof of what you are saying. I'll tell you now you wont find any because it is proven that as cannabis use has increased serious mental health issues have not. Why? Because there is no evidence to suggest that cannabis causes mental illness. They have been trying for decades to PROVE this and have not done so because it is not the case! And you would rather criminal gangs profit than the government/country? We are talking mainly about cannabis here. I do not wish for "smackhead filled alleyways" either. And who mentioned anything about kids? They way things are now our kids can go to a drug dealer and be sold ANYTHING if they have the cash. What makes you think this is better then a controlled and regulated market?
"here's another idea - People get shot and stabbed every day, no matter how much we arrest people there are still people stabbing and shooting people. Why not legalise hit men and charge a tax on each hit?" you're just being absurd now!
@lornawanstall take pride knowing that your government listens to people like you.
Yeah brilliant idea, get the govt more money to waste on wars that we dont want and to send in overseas aid by encouraging addictive drugs.
All the idiot 'its only a bit off puff and its our choice' brigade need to have a look in the mental health wards and smack head filled alleys before saying its a good idea. If you would choose this way forward for your kids as an option then it says more about you than you probably realise
The estimated revenue for the UK has been worked out to be around £6.5 Billion. Those that are comparing Holland or the US are missing the point. Both these countries have as yet to fully legalise (the US situation is comical). Therefore there isn't an actual way to gauge its success as. Yes the government will tax, but again this has been looked into and as production would increase prices would fall meaning that the price would be around the same as people pay on the street today. Growing your own IS an option, but anyone who knows will tell you that it is actually quite technical trying to grow a decent crop, and unless you have financial backing (from criminals) the gains/returns do not often match the outlay. Therefore it would be much easier to go buy a regulated, controlled and quality tested product. So how about instead of giving all the money to criminal gangs we instead funnel it into a growth industry, leading to more employment, and into the countries coffers. The idea that somehow this will lead to more work days lost and higher numbers of accidents is rubbish. As many people fail to see/acknowledge is that around 3 million people already smoke cannabis regularly in the UK. The vast majority of those people lead perfectly normal and healthy lives and have the common sense to realise that it is not a good idea to a) get heavily stoned and drive and b) think it a good idea to get stoned at work. The only crime these people commit is giving cash to dealers, and that money can then be used to fund more serious crime like people trafficking and murder. The fear of a sudden explosion in drug use is also a misconception. Those who chose not to take drugs aren't going to somehow suddenly be forced into taking cannabis. Although it has been proven many times that cannabis is far safer than almost ALL drugs having never killed a single person by its direct use. Hopefully Spain will have the courage to listen to what Sir Richard is saying and take the bull by the horns and lead the way. Showing all the other yellow bellied countries how it is done, because god knows our bunch of idiotic dictators don't want to listen to common sense, scientific facts, or the people! They are only interested in lining their own greedy pockets (see Sativex and the great pharmaceutical swindle that is its a cannabis medicine containing almost nothing but cannabis but "it is not cannabis" as per the home office as they try to sell it across the world). Keep up the good work Sir Richard. The worlds people will eventually realise that they have been mislead and lied to for many years now by hysterical moral crusaders who selfishly believe that their morals give them the right to dictate how the free people of this world live their own lives even when doing no harm to others.
mostannoyed really? the drug related crimes have risen, thats not what i saw, read, watched or witnessed first hand in Amsterdam mate, dont talk rubbish......and i lived there for quite some time, you fool, and if your friends moved on, then they mirror your foolishness, none of my friends have ever tried anything else and the same goes for every other smoker i know on a personal level
dercon er, why? cos of your antiquated ideas? Have an open mind you fool, if people want to smoke, let them, the tax the smokers in the UK would pay would add a fortune to the coffers, i cant speak for spain, and Branson is not a rich man by being an idiot is he? I used to smoke and held a rather high powered job and needed to be switched on to do it, i now dont as i have a baby in the house but i will when they are old enough, you kind of people are why it is still seen as a 'gateway' drug in the UK and it is strictly illegal. I have never ever tried another one and i never would want to. Branson is very brave to say that and very right, how much aggro to you see in town centres from drunk people....now compare it to non drinkers who only smoke in Amsterdam....i lived there and never once saw a smoker kicked out/banned/or coming out and causing any trouble, and i lived just off Dam Square :)
Legalize it and make some Cash out of the tokers :)
How brave of Sir Richard to come out with this statement. The key words were to allow a drugs policy where there is no harm done to others. Interesting that Alcohol is the exact opposite it is a freely available drug which is positively dangerous to society - but cannabis users are more likely to fall asleep. In terms of all the detailed rubbish about brains and side-affects... this is no-one else's business. It's up the the individual how they live their life - not nanny do-do-gooders..
the gateway theory, and that's all it is, a theory, is all the prohibitionists have left for ammo. ALL other arguments have proven false, the best example it doctor tashkin's who studied cannabis smokers over 20+ years to see the harmfull effects(they hoped) but only found zero harmfull effects but even PROTECTIVE effects on the lungs! they argued this was because cannabis smokers inhale deeper, nonsense! it cures cancer, google it!
mostannoyed you say "It changes the way people think, by altering the nural pathways of the brain, and removes the blocks we previously had to take other substances (eventually). " Nural is a band from La Crescenta, California formed in 2000. So go and buy a ticket to the US and join some of your fellow Luddite's there and leave the neural science to those of us that "get it" and who have friends...and a life...and a sensible perspective on life & the world.
mostannoyed - You can't even spell Cannabis, and your talking rubbish!! Tarring every cannabis user with the same brush. It's horses for courses. Some people can handle it, some can't. Some people are prone to addiction, some aren't! Exactly like alcohol. It affects people in different ways.
You are totally missing the point.... cannabis kills less than alcohol and may say its an entry drug to harder drugs like cocaine and E, but either way if your going to take it then your going to take it whether or not you’ve smoked cannabis, to blame cannabis for moving on to harder drugs is ridiculous, you don’t see all smokers moving on to cannabis because their nicotine fix just isn’t enough.
*****FREE THE WEED, LEGALISE CANNABIS*****
mostannoyed im afraid you are ill informed cannabis does not lead people onto harder drugs ,its all about will power and common sense ,ive smoked cannabis most of my life and have never once wanted to try cocaine heroin etc.only a complete muppet would want to take something that could kill you.
they are not going to stop people smoking it they might as well just legalise it, just because you smoke cannabis doesnt mean you go on to other harder drugs i know plenty of people who smoke it who are against the harder drugs. once they work out how to tax it properly they will realise that they are better off making it legal
Well, I think it's a good idea and wondering why we dont do it. It would create jobs for shop staff and gardeners, create a tax income for our gov, lower dealer prices which I've been told are very high...excuse the pun. After all, the police are getting powers and devices to stop drivers like they already do with alcohol. So...why not?
This is an excellent idea, its just a shame it is spoken of in the papers and most people agree it's merits, yet the idea never goes any further. I think that its now time for the Government to get with the times and realise that the public are not quite as gullible and easy to manipulate as we were some years ago. The internet has helped make the truth easier for everyone to find.