Prisoners often do some nasty drugs to pass the time. Everything from toilet gin to powder dope cut with cleaning agents makes its way through most correctional institutions across the globe. This dark reality comes with its fair share of problems.
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In Scotland, for example, the country’s prison system recently experienced a series of fatal drug overdoses. Although some folks are of the opinion that these inmates got what they deserved, others – specifically, a local medical professional — have offered up a progressive solution to ending these deaths – give prison inmates free marijuana.
Dr Stephanie Sharp, a pharmacologist and co-founder of Glasgow Expert Witness Service, says prisoners have been “condemned to death” because they are forced to seek out highs from Spice and other dangerous substances. These drugs are easier to smuggle into the prison facility, making them a hot commodity among the cell blocks. But Sharp believes if prisoners were given marijuana, overdose deaths would drop significantly.
“Why aren’t prisons able to give them cannabis? It is a much safer alternative,” she told The Daily Record. “Psychoactive substances like Spice are illegal but all they have to do is change a chemical and they become legal again. Because we are not addressing the issue of psychoactive drugs, we are condemning people to death in prisons and on the streets.”
But before any such policy could be put into action, the UK would have to first legalize marijuana. Much like the United States, the nation prohibits the use of the cannabis plant for any reason. Not even patients needing medical marijuana can get their hands on the herb without the risk of ending up in hot water with the criminal justice system. This has driven part of the drug culture into the arms of the so-called “zombie drug” Spice, which is a chemically soaked synthetic cannabinoid known for wreaking havoc on the mind.
Although marijuana’s naysayers might be quick to criticize the concept proposed by Dr. Sharp, it is not as crazy as it sounds. Some of the latest statistics show that hundreds of thousands of people across the UK died last year a result of drug overdoses. Inside the prison system, this scourge brought about the demise of both prisoners and correctional officers. But no one is dying from marijuana. Not anywhere in the world. Even the US government admits that marijuana is not a killer.
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It is also worth considering that legalizing marijuana would decrease the prison population. Many inmates are currently doing time for drug-related offenses, including those involving marijuana.