🇺🇸 Retired veteran, father, rock-climbing expert & rosin connoisseur.
Here in Northern California, we’re living in a cannabis bubble. Ideal growing conditions, a robust and vibrant culture, bleeding-edge innovations, and world-class genetics help make this region truly hallowed grounds for cannabis connoisseurs. While these advantages are rare on the world stage, sometimes we take them for granted. But sobering stories of people being executed for breaking cannabis laws put things back into stark perspective.
Here on the West Coast our laws and culture embrace cannabis, but in other parts of the world, it’s the exact opposite. Even in 2023, people can still lose their lives for working in the cannabis business. And sometimes, the convictions are based on a bogus process.
As much of the world moves to loosen laws around cannabis use and possession, in places like Singapore, cannabis charges can result in the loss of life. This is in fact the only way that cannabis can kill people. It is tragic indeed.
Just weeks ago, A Singaporean man, Tangaraju Suppiah, was executed for his involvement in attempting to traffic 2.2 pounds of cannabis. While cannabis has been legalized in several countries globally, Singapore maintains some of the strictest drug laws and aggressively defends the use of capital punishment as a deterrent for drug traffickers, claiming it is necessary for public safety.
Tangaraju's execution has sparked controversy as his family members and activists raised concerns about the safety of his conviction and made public appeals for clemency. The case against Tangaraju relied heavily on statements from his police interrogation, which were obtained without a lawyer or interpreter present, and the testimony of his two co-accused, one of whom had his charges dismissed.
There’s a strong argument that Tangaraju did not receive a fair trial, and his conviction could not stand up under scrutiny.
Critics argue that Singapore's position is out of step with human rights principles and that the death penalty is ineffective as a deterrent. We couldn't agree more. International entities such as the European Union and the United Nations have called for a moratorium on executions in Singapore and expressed concerns about due process and the efficacy of the death penalty.
Regardless of the degree of adherence to legal process, there’s no justice in any process that executes people for cannabis. It seems like a clear human rights violation for executing people for using a plant. It’s ridiculous that people are being put to death for cannabis.
Cannabis use is a health issue, and it should not be a legal issue.
Cannabis law reform is a pressing issue that demands our attention. The current approach of maintaining strict laws and harsh punishments for cannabis-related offenses is not only ineffective but also unjust. It is time to shift our perspective and embrace a more sensible and evidence-based approach to cannabis.
There is a growing body of evidence supporting the potential benefits of cannabis for medical purposes. Many studies have shown its efficacy in treating various conditions, such as chronic pain, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis. By legalizing cannabis, we can provide patients with safe and regulated access to this potentially life-changing medicine.
Moreover, cannabis legalization can create opportunities for scientific research, allowing us to better understand its therapeutic potential and develop more targeted treatments.
Cannabis law reform is also necessary for social justice reasons. The criminalization of cannabis disproportionately affects marginalized communities, leading to a cycle of poverty, incarceration, and social inequality. By reforming cannabis laws, we can address these systemic injustices and work towards creating a fairer and more equitable society.
Cannabis law reform is crucial for both social justice and public health reasons. It is time to move away from punitive measures and embrace a more compassionate and evidence-based approach. By legalizing cannabis, we can address social inequalities, empower patients, and foster a society that values science, compassion, and personal freedom.
High-quality cannabis is everywhere in California, and most people never think twice about moving it around. Even in quantities that are greater than what’s legally protected. It’s hard to imagine that in some parts of the world, people can be put to death for a couple of pounds of bud. But this is the reality. We have a lot of work left to do.
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