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States lead way in legalising cannabis

The big news of the US election is that Barack Obama has won a second term as President but there were other important votes, including those at state level on drug policies.

We often think of the US as having draconian laws with regard to drugs. A more progressive side was seen this week in a number of votes, most significantly legalising cannabis in two states, Colorado and Washington.

They have voted to legalise cannabis for recreational use. This is a first in the US and can be considered to break ground internationally. The situation is not ideal, given the federal government will attempt to enforce its own laws to undermine these developments, but it is to be applauded.

Commentators in the US have suggested this may represent a tipping point for the country, but it ought to represent such a point for the rest of the world. Prohibition of cannabis makes little sense and serves only to place the trade in the hands of criminals. In Colorado and Washington we are seeing people adopt an alternative approach that will provide for more realistic laws. This is to be applauded and ought to be emulated in this country.

Iain Paterson,

2F Killermont View, Glasgow.

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