Oh no, not again. Another poor politician (and I
don't very often feel sorry for them) has been
forced by our stupid laws to say: It was wrong;
I have learnt my lesson; drugs are wrong; and I
did not particularly enjoy smoking cannabis.
Really? Is Jacqui Smith lying?
I expect so. And who can blame her. What if the
home secretary were to say, "I smoked cannabis
sometimes like most of my Oxford friends. I
enjoyed it a lot. I had fun, explored my mind,
and learned things, but then grew out of it"? Or
even if she said that taking drugs was not
intrinsically wrong if it hurts no one else?
Well, if that were what she really thought, and
she said it, then she would almost certainly
lose her job.
A law that makes millions of
ordinary people into criminals and risks even
driving our own politicians to lie has to be a
bad law. It should be changed.
Messing about with the
classification of drugs is never going to
provide a real solution to the problems we face
(street crime, over-filled prisons, lack of
treatment, lack of proper drugs education). I
welcome Colin Blakemore's scientific examination
of the harm drugs do and the subsequent attempt
to make drug classification reflect more
accurately the harm each drug does. But Jacqui
Smith wants to bring down crime, and for that
there is only one real solution: to take drugs
out of the hands of criminals and make them
Just imagine this brave new
world. Anyone over a certain age can go to a
drugs shop and buy sensibly priced, properly
taxed, clean drugs. Drugs cartels have to give
up and half the street crime is gone. Tax
revenue pours in, prisons have plenty of space
and ... what about the politicians?
Perhaps we might hear on the
news that a new home secretary has said: "I
smoked cannabis at university and I loved it. It
was fun and interesting, and wonderful for
listening to music, but it's no good for
studying, and now I'm more interested in my
career and how to do my job well."
And wouldn't this set a better