My first time posting here. I feel obliged to come along and share my thoughts with a group who love and respect the most wonderful Stephen Fry.
Last night I found myself watching an episode of Qi XL. The Christmas special (I believe) featuring David Tenant. Brilliant as usual! Apart from some bad information given as fact from the wonderful, yet usually incorrect, Alan Davies. The information was that cannabis is "very carcinogenic" and "smoking three joints is the equivalent of smoking (I believe he said) twenty cigarettes". These statements are simply not true and I was really hoping that Stephen might have corrected him but unfortunately this did not happen. I of course do not blame Stephen one iota as he simply can not know everything (though one suspects he knows 'almost' everything) and that he quite rightly has not had experience of getting to know cannabis due to his medical condition (bipolar) as it should already be known that any kind of intoxicant will have a negative effect on the condition.
The truth of the matter is, backed up by a large and ever increasing body of scientific evidence, that cannabis is far less carcinogenic than tobacco which is undoubtedly the main reason why the cafes of Amsterdam and the number of cannabis organisations (see CLEAR http://clear-uk.org/) advise to smoke pure (or possibly use a vaporiser) as the more harmful and extremely addictive tobacco usually mixed with the cannabis is and shall forever be far more destructive.
Of course it would be naive to believe that there is absolute zero negative effects associated with cannabis and there is a very small link between cannabis, it being a psychoactive substance, and mental illness (being predisposed of such an illness such as being bipolar or any other mental illness smoking cannabis, especially at a younger age will possibly exacerbate the illness. There is NO evidence to suggest that it actually CAUSES mental illness). Which is greatly over exaggerated by our government in an effort to continue perpetuating the myth that prohibition is the only course of action when dealing with illegal substances.
As I'm sure you are aware the prohibition did nothing more, in the case of alcohol in the early part of the twentieth century, than drive the production and distribution into the hands of the burgeoning criminal underworld and gave rise to mobsters such as Al Capone. Who once alcohol was made legal moved into the production and distribution of narcotics.
This is of course the situation we find ourselves in today but for one reason or another fail to make the association between the two creating a very nasty world where millions of peoples lives have been ruined or tragically ended early every year because our ruling classes are failing to correctly regulate and control these substances as they do with the worlds most deadly drug ALCOHOL!
I don't mean this to turn in to a lecture, but it is a subject I feel very passionate about due to the rank hypocrisy of our government towards the issue, but also felt it necessary to correct another 'Alan-quiam' (words of gibberish usually spoken by politicians and curly haired comedians).
I hope Stephen might possibly read this and pass on the truth (possibly give Alan a smack on the bottom) as the truth is very hard to come by nowadays thanks to a very large campaign of propaganda by the worlds governments (see Reefer Madness 1936) in regards to a drug which is now 'proven' to be of medicinal benefit (see Sativex) and has been used for many thousands of years and is known to be far less harmful (nobody has EVER died from cannabis) then the legal intoxicants thousands of people die from yearly as sanctioned by our governments.