Labour’s ‘responsible’ drug abuse

Cannabis is Labour’s latest distraction tactic. In its relentless drive to legalise drug abuse, it issued a White Paper with the ridiculously deceitful title: ‘Towards the strengthening of the legal framework on the responsible use of cannabis’.

Labour’s White Paper is unadulterated deception and dishonesty. It asserts that “Nothing in this White Paper is intended to encourage, promote or lead to consumption of cannabis”.  But proceeds to do just that.

It presents cannabis as a harmless benign source of entertainment, paving the way for Labour to license close friends to make a quick buck out of drug abuse – at the expense of our youth.

The sugar-coating of a dangerous habit is shameless. The White Paper reassures us that cannabis is nothing new – used for thousands of years by civilisations across the globe.  Don’t worry, everybody’s used it, even our minsters, so lighten up.  It claims that criminalisation of cannabis is a recent phenomenon, “a relatively anomalous one”.

The entire document is littered with cannabis promotion. It brags that important steps have been taken to combat the stigma surrounding cannabis, that cannabis is not worse than alcohol (so it’s fine then?) and most brazenly that “the consumption of cannabis adds to the users’ wellbeing”. If that is not promotion and encouragement for cannabis, what is? Who wouldn’t want to add to his wellbeing?

Couched in pseudo-scientific jargon the White Paper trivialises the real dangers of the drug. Deceitfully it describes “its most common effects”, but fails to mention its worst.  The proposals, which include increasing legal possession to 7g and allowing cultivation of the plant, are guided by the “individual’s freedom to make responsible choices” it fibs.

There is nothing responsible about recreational cannabis use. It’s a psychotropic drug – it affects the brain. It changes thought, mood, behaviour and perception. Its effects are not only short term. It alters the senses, sense of time, changes mood, impairs body movements, causes difficulty with thinking and problem solving, impairs memory, causes hallucinations in high doses, causes delusions and psychosis. Psychosis means losing contact with reality – and that is Labour’s affliction.

The National Academy of Sciences conducted an extensive review showing that cannabis use is associated with development of psychotic disorders. Psychosis is a frightening experience.  Examples include hearing voices, seeing terrifying creatures trying to harm you, suspecting that even your loved ones are intent on hurting you. Of course, none of this is mentioned in the White Paper.

Neither are the long term effects.  Depressingly, Forum Żgħażagħ Laburisti is promoting the legalisation of recreational cannabis when its members, the young, are most likely to suffer its most damaging effects.  Until the age of 24 the human brain is still developing and is most susceptible to stunted development.  Impaired thinking, memory and learning have all been documented in young people consuming cannabis. In a New Zealand study, young people suffered a significant reduction in their IQ.  Lost mental abilities do not recover on quitting.

The Forum Żgħażagħ Laburisti gives the false message that we know all there is to know about cannabis. We don’t. Cannabis contains more than 100 chemicals and its interaction with brain cannabinoid receptors is complex and poorly understood. The level of THC in marijuana has increased steadily over recent years. There is little research on the impact of high THC cannabis on young people. Cannabis effects different people differently. It also affects the same person differently and unpredictably at different times and doses.

What we do know is that cannabis use is linked to schizophrenia, depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation. We know that cannabis use during pregnancy is most damaging to the fetus in the first few weeks when most expectant mothers are not even aware they are pregnant. Babies born to cannabis users have lower birth weight, increased risk of brain and behavioural problems, increased risk of preterm birth with associated poorer outcomes.

Withdrawal symptoms of sleeplessness, anxiety, cravings and decreased appetite are not mentioned in the White Paper either. Nor is the psychological dependence on the drug.

A 2021 Cato Institute report on the legalisation of marijuana showed that in Colorado marijuana positive traffic fatalities increased after legalisation.  Cannabis use also increased. In States that had legalised cannabis, there was a higher and increasing rate of use prevalence.

Which sane person would remotely consider legalising such a substance? Which caring parent would consider making such a drug more accessible for his children? Why is Labour so intent on ramming this psychotropic drug down our throat?

Maybe because legalisation dramatically increases tax revenue for the government. In Washington, cannabis legalisation generated $70 million dollars in taxes in the first year – double the original revenue forecast.

Maybe because friendly businessmen from the fourth floor can see a lucrative business opportunity. Robert Abela asked “where can one buy in a legal way?” He admitted he wants to “destroy the black market for cannabis” and feigns concern that our citizens “do not have a source for procuring the drug”. Doubtlessly, Abela has a plan – and willing friends to help him procure the drug.

Of course, the White Paper is an utter waste of time. Abela has already decided he will introduce reforms. “You introduce such reforms because you have the courage, because you are sensitive to the realities of society, and you are not afraid to face those changes” he ululated in self-praise.

In a re-enactment of Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’, Robert Abela encourages the systematic drugging of his own citizens for the benefit of his Party and their friends. His twin efforts to push drugs and prostitution ensure that the populace is too distracted to pay attention to his Party’s criminality.

Cannabis and prostitution are now instruments of policy used by the State to drown the minds of its citizens in a sea of irrelevance – in an endless supply of pleasurable diversions. Abela’s Malta will be a drug-fuelled paradise that trades its liberty and its humanity for pleasure.

                           
                               
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John Jones
John Jones
25 days ago

It’s unfortunate that day to day issues like this are being linked to the criminality Malta has witnessed in high places for the past 6 years. I am dead against impunity but have no problem whatsoever with decriminalization of cannabis and there are many like me. Cannabis is a plant, not a drug. If it was discovered that sucking the stems of the Maltese Centaury had the same effect, would the State need to destroy all trace of her national plant? While I recognize the studies and conclusions of scientific bodies, I also wonder why these bodies do not promote the far worse consequences of consumption of alcohol and tobacco and insist on their being banned.
On another note, trying to inject these type of issues into the criminality debate will simply inflate the argument and many might lose the thread of the of the real problem. The investigation and eradication of this criminality is far more important for the country and all citizens should push for it without having other trivial issues being used to score political points.

viv
viv
25 days ago
Reply to  John Jones

Ah! The first stoner of spring!

Kevin Cassar
Kevin Cassar
25 days ago
Reply to  John Jones

Most drugs are derived from plants. Even heroin. It’s still a drug though

Dave
Dave
25 days ago
Reply to  Kevin Cassar

Heroin becomes a drug when you mix the plant with chemicals, same with all other man made drugs. Cannabis is as raw as it gets, it is a plant.

Dave
Dave
25 days ago
Reply to  Kevin Cassar

In that case let’s start making everything that does harm to the human body illegal? This can start with the food we eat, should Mc Donalds be made illegal too? I understand that there are bad side effects when using marijuana to another extreme, your article has stated that. However, it failed to mention it’s benefits. I agree that it is a diversion technique being used by the government and it shouldn’t be sugar coated or pushed on anyone. It also shouldn’t be encourage to use due to it’s benefits alone. I think if a person smokes recreationally and doesn’t move to the extreme where you are on the verge of becoming a junkie, there shouldn’t be anyone in the world to stop you from using it.

viv
viv
25 days ago
Reply to  Dave

Cut-and-paste dizzy-plant-mantras seen a zillion times all over the internet. Not new, not original. I can see why they are going for this strata of votes.

John Jones
John Jones
25 days ago
Reply to  Kevin Cassar

Hardly, alcohol has a much stronger impairing effect.

John Jones
John Jones
25 days ago
Reply to  Kevin Cassar

The poppy is not a drug.It is processed into a drug. Cannabis is a plant that does not need any processing,

George F. Spicka
24 days ago
Reply to  John Jones

Cannabis contains many substances, including THC, a drug that effects the mind. According to the American Lung Association, it also has the same carcinogens as tobacco, and four times the tar.

As for cannabis researchers not investigating alcohol or tobacco, it’s not their job to do so. They were hired to investigate cannabis and nothing else.

As for tobacco being “worse,” not only does cannabis have the same carcinogens and four times the tar, making it as equally unhealthy as tobacco if not more so, the America Heart Association has published sever studies that establish a link between marijuana, strokes, and fatal heart attacks.

With regard to alcohol, AAA (the American Automobile Association) has published studies showing that marijuana-induced traffic fatalities have nearly tripled in the states that have legalized recreational marijuana. This is corroborated by the fact that automobiles insurers in those states have raised their rates in response to the increase in fatalities.

Another major issue is the detrimental effects on the mental health of regular users. 

Today’s cannabis is 5 times stronger then when I was a young adult. Even so at 3% THC, I became addicted and suffered a psychotic breakdown, and still have mental health problems to the day.

The U.S. Surgeon General has warned of the negative consequences modern strains of cannabis on the minds of teens, and pregnant woman.

John Holiday
John Holiday
20 days ago
Reply to  John Jones

“ Cannabis is a plant, not a drug.” what an idiotic statement. Many drugs are derived from plants!

Simon Oosterman
Simon Oosterman
25 days ago

Finally an article by Kevin that is not factual but states an opinion. On top of that it is an opinion that is not accepted by many, if not a majority of the experts on the subject. Also he did not look at the ‘damage’ of cannabis use on society versus the ‘damage’ of the war on drugs on society.
I agree with John Jones that linking this issue to the criminality in high places in Malta is a mistake as it allows the government to divert attention from the real problem.

Caroline Muscat
Admin
25 days ago

You seem to have missed the point that the policy is itself a diversion from the real problem.

Simon Oosterman
Simon Oosterman
25 days ago

No, I have not but Kevin is playing into their hands by taking the bait.

John Jones
John Jones
25 days ago

It’s diversionary only if you let it be. Do you think that I am going to ignore the problems of rule of law and good governance just because the government does something I agree with?

Caroline Muscat
Admin
25 days ago
Reply to  John Jones

I wasn’t referring to you. Campaigns aren’t created with only you in mind.

Kevin Cassar
Kevin Cassar
25 days ago

The effects of cannabis are not opinions. They are documented medical facts. Facts which are glaringly missing from the white paper.
A white paper should present a balanced factual representation of the issues to be discussed. This white paper simply paves the way for decisions that have already been taken. Which renders the white paper superfluous.

Joseph Tabone Adami
Joseph Tabone Adami
25 days ago
Reply to  Kevin Cassar

In other words the propaganda ignores the documented medical facts and would rather sugar the lie pills for easier consumption by the gullible!

The reasons behind all this are patently deceptive – in my opinion, too!

Simon Oosterman
Simon Oosterman
25 days ago
Reply to  Kevin Cassar

As are the effects of alcohol and tobacco. The white paper is not a very good one but the conclusion is not unreasonable, even if you and many others may not agree with it.
The problem is that your position on the criminal activity in this government was unassailable but on this subject it is not. By mixing them up you have provided a point of attack to the government and its trolls.

David Raynes
David Raynes
23 days ago

Apart from the mental ill health sometimes very serious indeed, that Cannabis use promotes, Cannabis is carcinogenic (Testicular Cancer) and the most recent research is showing that it is genotoxic down both the male and female line, altering DNA, cross generationally.

It is a very nasty substance.

In the Cannabis legalised State of Colorado, birth defects are said to be four times the back ground rate in the wider US, results conformed in other high useage areas like Hawaii and Nunavut regions of Canada.

Birth defects range through autism, Gastroschisis, Atrial Septal Defect, small or missing ears, small heads.

It is a creeping public health horror story, in the debate in the British Medical Journal Cannabis was named as the “new Thalidomide” by one commentor.

Doubters should do some research via Google Scholar.

Luciano Micallef
Luciano Micallef
22 days ago

Well done Kevin once again for your well-delivered article based on medical research. The local media very often ignores the potential dangers of the drug which you have listed.
Those who are too dependent on the use of marijuana cannot be converted and they will defend their position because it is the only way they can justify the use. Your words are considered harassing. Most marijuana consumers are unaware of what is THC or CBD. The confusion persists when it comes to distinguishing between medical and commercial use.
After a 2016 analysis of marijuana samples from materials confiscated by the Drug Enforcement Administration in the USA over two decades that the potency of THC in marijuana has increased at least threefold since 1995 while the negative consequences increase accordingly. Nowadays, the consumption of marijuana is referred to as ‘recreational’ so that it sounds completely harmless, like going for a jog or a walk. This form of ‘recreation’ consists of obliterating reality and removing any form of soberness, including self-control. It sounds like the formula that the present government has adopted over the past years.

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