Notes and Comments
More calls for the legalising of cannabis
THE pressure on the Government to decriminalise the possession of cannabis,
and also to legalise its use, is increasing. Labour MP Paul Flynn is gathering
support for a 10-minute rule Bill calling for cannabis to be legalised for
an experimental period of four years.
One argument for legalisation is that the drug is helpful in relieving
certain kinds of illness. However, the Christian Research Institute (CRI),
in its submission to the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology
and its Sub-Committee Enquiry into Cannabis, has stated, "We agree with
the recent BMA report which concludes that ‘cannabis is unsuitable for medical
use’. We argue that the scientific support for its medical use is wholly
inadequate. There are many anecdotal claims that cannabis provides relief from
certain kinds of suffering, but a recommendation either to reschedule or to
grant legal exemption for medical use cannot be justified on the basis of science."
The CRI submission also states that "there is a crucial distinction
to be made between cannabis and cannabinoids. The BMA report
calls for the focus of future research to be on cannabinoids rather than cannabis." The
CRI goes on: "The BMA states that the evidence for the therapeutic potential
of cannabinoids is ‘meagre’. This is the primary reason as to why there are
difficulties in carrying out research: drug companies are understandably reluctant
to fund work on such a slender evidence base. Even the established uses of
cannabinoids are undertaken only when other treatments have failed."
Another comment from the CRI is worth pondering: "Is ‘medical marijuana’ a
front for legalisation? This is a question that has been asked by the Committee
during its public hearings. We have no doubt that there are sincere people
advocating cannabis use for medical purposes whose only concern is to alleviate
suffering. We also have no doubt that the efforts of these sincere people are
being cynically deployed by other groups seeking legalisation. These groups
are well aware of the propaganda value of gaining ground in the ‘medical marijuana’ debate."
There are several other plausible arguments for the use of cannabis which
have been successfully employed in softening public opinion, but we would do
well to keep in mind the harmful effects of the drug as well as the incontrovertible
fact that its use leads to the use of deadly drugs.
Sabbath ferries to Lewis
WESTERN Isles councillor, Donald John MacSween, who wants a ferry to be run
on Sabbath between Lewis and the mainland, believes he has local public opinion
on his side. "The people are now leading the politicians," he said. "So,
let’s move forward. Let’s do it in a calm, rational way. Let’s get a ferry
docking. Let’s get a plane service, and there’ll be no more about it."
There will indeed be more about it. "There is a God in heaven" (Daniel
2:28), "and by Him actions are weighed" (1 Samuel 2:3). Breaking
the Fourth Commandment, "Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy . .
." is sin as surely as is breaking the Eighth Commandment, "Thou
shalt not steal."
He also said that a referendum "will determine . . . whether it’s
the settled wish of the people to have a ferry coming into Stornoway on Sunday
or not." Since when, we ask, did the settled wish of the people supercede
the Word of God? God’s law can never give way to man’s will.
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