Home Affairs Committee - Drugs: Breaking the CycleWritten evidence submitted by Dan O’Donnell (DP128)

My name is Dan O`Donnell. I’m 31 years old and have been smoking marijuana since I was 18. The political arguments that are used to uphold this law are totally outdated and I wish to put my story forward as proof of this. I lived in a small town where after I would finish work it would be a choice of going to the pub to get drunk or going home to either drink till I fell asleep or sitting staring at the TV waiting for bed. Usually at the weekends I would go out get blind drunk and end up in hospital or in a police cell. This was until I started smoking weed. After I started smoking weed I found that life was much more enjoyable I could now go home have a smoke and unwind without a worry in the world and have a beautiful night’s sleep. Now I know that stoners are supposed to be unemployed wasters, if we believe what you told us, but I have been employed for eight years and have experienced people such as lawyers and teachers who also need a smoke after stressful days to unwind and spend quality time with their kids rather than be stressed out and short tempered.

The main reason weed should be legalised is because of the way it is dealt currently. At present you have to get weed from criminals who only want to make money and therefore try to push other drugs on to you. If it were legal and a 16 year old only wants weed then he could go to a shop or cafe to buy some, at present he has to go to a criminal who will offer other drugs such as speed, cocaine, crack or even heroin. Now the government make the link between cannabis and harder drugs but this is only due to circumstance, if I go to a cafe to buy it legally then there is no chance I could be offered harder drugs but when I go to a dealer they are always trying to sell whatever they can, they usually try this one.

“I haven’t got any weed mate but I’ve got this other stuff it will knock ur head of its the bollocks,” even though I only want weed and have no intention of buying anything other I could be tempted and try something harder and get addicted. Believe me this is how 90% of kids end up trying hard drugs for the first time.

If you take marijuana off the streets and into real shops that can advise people on all things to do with the subject then believe me u will see a drop in the people doing class a drugs as long as it is illegal the link to hard drugs will always be there.

January 2012

Prepared 8th December 2012