|Issue 11 - March 1973|
|An open letter
to the Evening Chronicle
Dear Muther Grumble,
Please find enclosed a reply I wrote to the Evening Chronicle on March 1. The article was entitled 'Is it safe to legalise pot'? When I sent my letter for obvious reasons I could not state my name and address and as the Chronicle says letters whose senders enclose their names and addresses will be the first considered for printing mine never appeared. However I really do not see this as the reason for my letter being rejected. If possible I would like you to enter this as an open letter to Chronicle readers. The letter follows:
Well we feel we would like to make a few actual facts clear to you. What about the average consumer's intake of drugs in the forms of tea, coffee, alcohol and tobacco? How about our consumption of chemicals / drugs in many foods?
You are talking about cannabis as if it were a relatively new discovery, when in fact it has been in use for decades in this country and centuries in other countries. In fact (one of ours) extracts from George Washington's Diary indicate that he was a user - seeing he grew cannabis at a nearby riverside.
The argument against cannabis is always its comparison with hard drugs, i.e. cocaine, heroin, opium etc. Haven't we been learning about cannabis for a little too long now in your days of scientific technology? Can't you give us any definite facts about its apparent danger? One wonders if this much money has been spent trying to prove the harmful effects of other 'household' drugs.
Being 'high' doesn't seem to have affected my time and distance concentration and seems to make one more aware of the important details.
Cannabis impairs ones driving skill! Doesn't a few bottles of beer or a couple of double whiskies, and how many people drink? Isn't tobacco a stimulant? So when you're a little tense then have a cigarette and don't mention tobacco's harmful effects (you don't have to smoke cannabis with tobacco).
'My brain hurts!' Oh come now, my brain hurts continually, but only through constantly trying to sort out from your so-called facts, what actually are facts and what are a load of ...
Speaking as a regular user, I am afraid that I don't suffer from your so-called side-effects and I don't believe any of my friends or acquaintances do either. What are all these warning noises you hear? How about the warning feelings you get from a hard night's drinking? It does tend to disrupt your head and body, and I don't believe anybody can safely drive to work with a hangover.
Considering the number of 'pot smokers' then you should hear a very loud 'legalise very soon', and I hope I can be one to make the shout grow louder.
Talking about different dosages up and down the country and the enormous variations of doses only shows that maybe one user possessed more cannabis than another or the 'reefer' was made for more than one or two people.
Obviously somebody is into making money on the soon-to-be legalised cannabis plant, so instead of a tobacco or food company standardising our intake I suggest that one buys unadulterated cannabis and decided for themselves the amount required as does the drinker. I totally disagree with your statement saying that alcohol is used moderately and usually with food. Go into one of our pubs and I am sure you will find a very different atmosphere (and happier) prevailing as the evening goes on. Of course people feel drink effects and one judges how much is desirable. Haven't you been out for a few pints with the lads? Then you've never lived. Cannabis users as do drinkers judge the amount they require, and individual doses differ.
Cannabis as does alcohol requires sensible usage. Do we kid ourselves that nobody pops out from work for a dinnertime pint? Come off it, even your police force and doctors do. I would like to correct you again, already a simple breath test has been developed to detect cannabis users (USA).
I think on the balance, I would legalise cannabis. It seems to help people who use it be a little more foresighted and clear in their heads than you, sir, appear to be.
This is not an article but merely a reply to an article in the Evening Chronicle.
Cannabis Action Reform Organisation (CARO) has been jointly sponsored by NCCL and Release, and will campaign for cannabis to be supplied through authorised channels. For further information contact.
CARO, 65 Edith Grove, London SW10
NCCL, 152 Camden High St, London NW1
Release, 1 Elgin Ave, London W9
A group of people in the north-east want to start a branch of CARO here. If you'd like to help, contact through Muther Grumble, 13 Silver Street, Durham City, tel 61242.