STORIES

Tehran-Based Researcher Praises Cannabis Legalization

By David Jenison on July 31, 2017

The Islamic Republic of Iran appears to have a major cannabis legalization supporter. Dr. Seyed Reza Ehsanpour, a professor at Shahed University in Tehran, wrote a study on soft-drug decriminalization that appears in the latest Bioethics and Health Law Journal.

In the study, Dr. Ehsanpour noted that soft drugs like cannabis "are very weak in terms of addiction and the effects are highly treatable," but countries take different approaches to law enforcement. For example, he wrote, "Criminal policy of some countries such as the Netherlands agrees with the decriminalization and criminal policy of many others such as the United States of America is against it."

The professor looked at all the arguments for and against decriminalization, including those made by lawyers and scientists. He made a nod toward the anti-cannabis propaganda machine by adding, "Honesty in the literature and citation analysis and reporting were considered."

The findings included the following: "Punishing soft drug users is unnecessary, ineffective, without favor and unnecessary. Regarding health... [cannabis] has an effective role in treating incurable diseases such as multiple sclerosis, AIDS, hepatitis, chronic pain and [other conditions]."

Based on the findings, Dr. Ehsanpour concluded, "Soft drugs like cannabis not only have a lower degree of addictive rate rather than hard drugs like heroin, but also it has some therapeutic benefits. Legally, decriminalization of soft drugs has root in human rights, penology and criminological justifications."

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