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The question Legalising cannabis

The House of Lords last week called for the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

We ask: Is this a good idea, and does it go far enough?

I am fortunate to be blessed with good health, but have a friend who is extremely ill and could have benefited from the therapy. Who are we to deny relief to others? Smoking cannabis would appear to be less harmful and less addictive than smoking tobacco and it would also appear to serve the social needs of some without the violence associated with excessive consumption of alcohol. Criminalising one and allowing the other two makes an ass of the law. Laws already exist to protect the workplace and used responsibly it should be left up to the individual to choose.

Keith Aiston, 49, regional planning manager, Northampton

The relief that cannabis brings to the sufferers of certain medical conditions is well documented and I see no reason why the medicinal benefits of this natural drug should be unavailable when there are plenty of potentially more harmful and more addictive synthetic drugs available on prescription. As for its more widespread legalisation, while it is allegedly less harmful than tobacco, I do have concerns that its more widespread use would simply encourage experimentation and the greater use of harder and more damaging drugs. I would oppose complete legalisation of the use of cannabis at this time.

Simon Lawrence, 27, civil engineer, Cardiff

If cannabis can be used as a medicinal drug to help people in a way that other drugs could not, then I do not see a problem with it. Morphine is used to help pain relief, and this is an opiate. I believe that it would be wrong for cannabis to be legalised for personal use, but do not see this as the first step in that process.

Pete Wilkie, 22, student, Newcastle

I am in favour of the legalisation of cannabis for medical reasons. From the designs and decisions some architects make, it looks like they have been smoking the stuff for years without any negative effects.

Andy Eggleston, 26, traffic engineer, Milton Keynes

I think cannabis should be available for medical reasons, as from the information available it seems extremely beneficial. Also, from talking with friends, I have never heard of problems resulting from taking cannabis. Fighting in the streets has tended to be due to alcohol, which is already legal!

Pippa Higgins, 25, site engineer, Leicester

Yes cannabis should be available. It is amazing that we can be so narrow minded in thinking otherwise. We must be able to differentiate by purpose of use.

Bob Gregory, 63, independent consultant and university lecturer, Hampshire

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