Drugs mess you up - there is no doubt about that and this is an important message that we need to share.
However, following a trip last summer to Colorado I believe it is time to open a public debate about better ways to protect people. In Colorado cannabis cannabis was legalised at the end of 2012 and then later allowed outlets were licensed to sell it for home use only.
The results from Colorado show no increase in drug usage - the same people who smoked before, smoke now - but the drug has been removed from streets, has been decriminalised and there has been a parallel reduction in crime in Denver - Colorado's main city.
You can't say that legalisation was the direct cause of a fall in crime to fall, but it is a good sign.
In addition, the number of young people using cannabis has fallen.
Through legalisation, authorities are now able to control the quality of cannabis as well as display clear signs about what is allowed and what is not - you can see me in the picture with one of these signs.
The only evidenced based argument against legalisation - so far - has been the incident of people driving who test positive for the drug. However, the way the data is collected appears flawed as there is no evidence whether the drug impaired their ability to drive (ie. they smoked a few days ago, but their blood still tests positive).
Economically speaking, I believe legalising and controlling cannabis in #Cheshire would save each household £20 per year - that would mean we can scrap planned police tax cuts for the next 4 years. Or, it could fund more mental health triage nurses work with the Police to better support people with mental health needs.
Here are some useful and balanced links about this debate
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