17th May 2021
By Roland Sebestyén

If something must be put in the local paper, why not the fact that cannabis is still illegal and medical cannabis is still barely accessible for those in need thus making dealers and gang members awfully rich across the UK?

Instead, the papers love asking questions such as “What can you do if your neighbours are smoking or growing cannabis?”

They also love running a story about some people getting busted for growing cannabis at home in Kent; or about a boy, 16, who was among those charged after a cannabis farm raid in Stockton-on-Tees.

Why don’t you ask, for example, how did a 16-year-old boy end up on that cannabis farm? Where are his parents? What is the local council doing? Where is a social worker when one needed very badly?

The headline and the article offered nothing but sensationalism, and the local media’s influence is massive.

Obviously, the editor can argue that people are keen on reading stories about cannabis seizures and the yobs who got caught and then jailed for a long time.

Basically, the papers could say where there is demand there will be supply, right?

On the other hand, for me, this is more of a Chicken or Egg type of question – so what was before?

Were there people wanting to read about young children and gang members dealing with cannabis worth only a few thousand pounds, or were there some exaggerated reports and headlines of people getting busted for minor offences?

Yes, it’s a rhetorical question, in my opinion.

No one should support or sympathise with those people running illegal cannabis businesses from their flat – especially as a lot of them use children and people with vulnerable backgrounds to sell the drug in the streets. For a second, just imagine the impact dealing with drugs might have on a child.

People responsible for ruining lives and exploiting children must be caught and punished, there is no question about it.

The thing is that the government has every power to stop this and kill the black market once and for all. Researchers have found that cannabis legalisation had a massive effect on the illegal market.

I think the cannabis question should be approached as a health matter but, sadly, it is part of the political games the parties play across the country. Mind you, it is not UK-exclusive; it is a global issue.

Some can’t really cope with the fact that for millions around the world cannabis is not about getting high but about living a normal life.

A lot of cannabis users see that it is something that helps them to live pain-free and mentally balanced.

If the media keeps demonising cannabis use and the plant in general, and more people become hostile towards the concept and those using it for health or recreational purposes, we basically reject people from seeking an alternative medicine that might help them in the long run.

So what if we finally start asking the right questions and start educating the public instead?

If the local media got behind the idea, we would beat Reefer Madness for good.

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