Cameron On Cannabis Part 5
You can see the previous instalment here: Cameron On Cannabis Part 4.
I am still waiting for a further reply from Mr Cameron.
In the meantime, the subject of cannabis cropped up again on “Jamie’s Dream School” a Channel 4 programme in which a group of young people are given a second chance at education. Mr Cameron was challenged by the inspirational, 17 year old Henry Gatehouse, who proposed legalisation and a £1 per gram cannabis tax.
Mr Cameron responded:
“We concluded it would be wrong to make cannabis legal for two, I think, quite good reasons. One is, there is a link between that and mental health issues so it’s not harmless. And I think the second thing is that if you legalise drugs you will make them even more prevalent than they are. So I don’t think legalising is a good idea.”
Another inaccurate and misleading statement from Mr Cameron. This time though I think we should be even more concerned. Successive governments have stated that their main concern about drugs policy is children and young people and that they must be careful to “send the right messages”.
In fact, the only message that governments have successfully delivered to young people again and again is that they never tell the truth about drugs. While the Home Office throws millions every year at the Talk To Frank campaign, the only thing it achieves is for ministers to pat themselves on the back and for the self-serving drug support industry to soak up more public money. Frank is held in complete contempt by young people. The misinformation and untruths told about, in particular, cannabis, ecstasy and mephedrone are a scandal and a grave disservice to young people.
Of course, for children and young people, the use of any psychoactive substance in a still-developing brain has the potential for harm. Cannabis should only be used by adults. Cameron is distorting the truth though. The links between cannabis and mental health are trivial compared to those with alcohol, cigarettes or even energy drinks. It is dishonest and irresponsible to give such a misleading answer to a young man who has clearly done his research and knows the truth.
Cameron’s second reason though has no basis in fact at all. All the evidence is that where a system of regulation of drugs is introduced, use goes down. This is clearly proven in Holland, Portugal and the USA. Cameron’s assertion is entirely false and, I regret to say, he must know that it is. In Britain, which now has one of the most repressive drug policies in the world, young people’s consumption of drugs is one of the highest anywhere.
Once again, Cameron reveals the dishonesty at the heart of his government’s drugs policy. This time though he is misleading and misinforming our young people. What greater mistake can he make?