Home Office Backtracks On Cannabis
A fortnight ago Sir Ian Gilmore, the outgoing president of the Royal College of Physicians, famously denounced drugs prohibition as a failed policy. He said “”Everyone who has looked at this in a serious and sustained way concludes that the present policy of prohibition is not a success.” He then went on to advocate decriminalisation and regulation.
The Home Office immediately issued a statement saying “‘Drugs such as heroin, cocaine and cannabis are extremely harmful and can cause misery to communities across the country.” This statement was reproduced on the Home Office website and has sat there for the last two weeks in direct contradiction to the governments own scientific advisers. Anyone who has even the smallest knowledge of the subject knows that the idea that cannabis is “extremely harmful” is absurd and a lie.
Within the last day or two the Home Office website has been quietly edited to remove the word cannabis from the statement. See here.
This correction is very welcome. However it calls into question the honesty, competence and intelligence of the Home Office and the government’s drugs policy. James Brokenshire, the Minister for Crime Prevention has been looking increasingly ridiculous in the last few weeks, contradicting his advisers, spouting pre-Reagan “war on drugs” propaganda and conflicting terribly with the wise words of both David Cameron and Nick Clegg, both of whom have called for drug policy reform consistently over the last 10 years. Young James has made himself very unpopular with the country’s six million regular cannabis users and embarrassed the government and the Tory party with his antics.
Whoever was responsible for this smart and very discreet editing, let’s hope they get to have a look at James’ Drugs Strategy consultation document too. It needs some intelligent correction and adjustment as well. See here for more information on what’s really a very silly game of charades, fibs and porkies.