Sunday, 1 November 2009

It's symbolic of his struggle against reality...

Cannabis. A psychotropic substance whose widespread usage as a recreational drug and as pain relief with not a single recorded fatality has led to its being classified as a Class B substance. The ACMD's last advice to the government on the matter was famously to keep it downgraded to Class C.

From all the evidence we can conclude that if cannabis has to be criminalised at all, it should be on the lowest classification. But that's just the evidence from medical and social harm, and that's not as important as blind prejudice, is it?

A Home Office spokesman said: "The home secretary expressed surprise and disappointment over Professor Nutt's comments which damage efforts to give the public clear messages about the dangers of drugs."

Good point. For the sake of clarity: drug policy is not about how much harm it does to users or can be measured in terms of social harm. It's about how angry Epic Fail readers can get. Drug policy has nothing to do with good public policy.

For me, nothing epitomises New Labour's belief that actual facts should be trumped by middle England's brain-froth as much as its drug policy. They are dangerous ideologues, sure: prosecuting imperialist wars, forcing the free market into the public sector, defending to the hilt the capitalist class of the City. But with drugs, once again we have a simple case of: evidence says this, policy is the opposite solely in order, as far as I can work out, to appease the sentiments of a constituency that lives in Paul Dacre's head.


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