YOU report police discovering a cannabis farm in Manchester growing 4,000 plants with a street-value of £5 million ("Big drug haul seized in police raid", The Herald, April 15). If there ever was an argument to remove the ban on a relatively harmless drug which was only criminalised in this country a century ago to appease foreign financial interests this case is it.

Nobody but nobody would expend the time effort and financial investment to set up such an enterprise if there was not a guaranteed market for the product. The legislation covering this topic is way out of step with public opinion and the matter has not and never will be solved by prohibition.

If the factory where the plants were growing was legal and perhaps owned by Big Pharma the problem disappears as does the crime and unnecessary drain on police resources. The reality is that those in the community who want this recreational drug can currently get it and decriminalisation will not substantially increase usage, what would happen is that crime would reduce dramatically and perhaps incidents such as the lad having his hand chopped off with a machete you cite in a later article ("Machete attack that left teen with severed hand could be gang-linked, say police", The Herald, April 15) would not happen.

David J Crawford, Glasgow.


WHILE agreeing with James Mildred (Letters, April 15) about the devastation on families when someone commits suicide and having undergone suicide prevention training while being employed by a local authority, I do not believe it is “sad that there are those who are pushing for assisted suicide to be legalised”. I write as a member of Dignity in Dying and a supporter of our individual right to end our life when faced with severe, life-threatening illness.

I do not consider there to be a “deep contradiction” in this. The former is often done when there are mental health issues and in the spur of the moment. The latter in a planned manner often following years of pain and the knowledge of no betterment.

Jacquie MacIntyre, Greenock.


YOUR report on the evidence given to the Scottish Affairs Committee by representatives of the pub, hotel and restaurant industries ("Pubs have lost £841m in beer sales during the pandemic", The Herald, April 16) coupled with the Opinion column by Donald Macleod ("Freedom at long last? Don’t speak too soon", The Herald April 16) certainly made for interesting reading.

If, as alleged, no scientific evidence has been provided by the Scottish Government or Professor Leitch and his merry band of advisers as to why the hospitality industry is being treated differently to other industries, and that their actions appear to have been based merely on unscientific personal opinion and perhaps the Government's well-known antipathy to all things drink-related, then the eventual inquiry into actions taken during the current pandemic will undoubtedly make for even more interesting reading.

Dave Henderson, Glasgow.


I WRITE to commend the Agenda article by Peter Hayman ("Merchant City park would be a boost for Glasgow", The Herald, April 15). Peter Hayman has very neatly exposed the separation of political policy and official action and the contradictions that this leads to in the planning of our public places. Under the previous administration in Glasgow, Arm's-Length External Organisations (Aleos) were established and while the current administration has dismantled some, others, including City Property, live on and continue to act against the public interest in many cases.

What is the point of local democracy in the form of a city council and a community council if an unelected body can act against their policy and wishes? Glasgow City Centre is bereft of public green spaces, with only a derisory few square metres of grass in George Square. The proposed Merchant City park already contains a wonderful work of art in the form of the wildlife mural and some mature trees. The park should be established to give residents and visitors alike brief respite from the hustle and bustle of our city centre streets, which are still far too crowded with motor traffic.

Patricia Fort, Glasgow.


NATASAH Radmehr notes that very many people will have been bereaved during the pandemic ("The grief still rips through me. We need help with the pain of Coronavirus", The Herald, April 15). She rightly says that many will have mental health issues and that this is an issue that the Government will have to address in due course.

Perhaps what can help is to have someone who can offer a listening ear. Real listening (not just hearing) can be so helpful. In today's terms we so often communicate by text or by email which is so impersonal. I would rather lift the telephone and speak to a real person, this can be so therapeutic.

You do not have to offer advice, just listen and allow the person at the end of the phone to express their feelings and they will feel that someone cares. That can be so helpful and may avoid the need for a more formal response.

Ron Lavalette, Ardrossan.