Saturday, 26 February 2011

David Cameron Needs to think it through on cannabis

In his interview "A World View" at 10 mins 45 seconds in, David Cameron makes some strange statements in response to questions about the "legalisation" and the "medicinal" uses of the cannabis plant.

The Prime Minister says that he is against "legalisation" because "if you look at the sort of marijuana that is on sale today it is incredibly damaging, is very vey toxic and in many cases leads to huge mental health problems, but a more fundamental reason for not making these drugs legal is that to make them legal would make them even more prevalent and increase use levels even more than they are now and I don't think it's the right answer.  I think a combination of education and also treatment programmes for drug addicts those are the two most important points."

Yet, according to a study conducted by Kings College, London (2007) concluded "samples of cannabis seized by the police and discovered that the strength was the same as when similar checks were conducted a decade ago."

Despite that report and despite several studies conducted by the Government's own Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) recommending that cannabis remain in class C of the Misuse of Drugs Act, the Labour Government supported by the Conservatives upgraded cannabis to class B again in 2009 based upon this falsity.

In any case, if indeed there is a deemed to be a problem caused by the uncontrollable supply of strong strains of cannabis with no quality controls or indications of strength or purity, would it not have made more sense to create a legal distinction based upon strength?

Would it not make more sense for the Government to control supply by growing or importing "old style" cannabis - the sort Mr Cameron and so many MP's smoked in their youth - and sold it to adults through outlets similar to Dutch-style "Coffeeshops".

On the medicinal value of cannabis, Mr Cameron says that should be left to experts, yet he defies his own experts when it comes to classification and defiantly opposes the Dutch doctors that prescribe medical cannabis bud to patients including British People that go there.  

Whilst residents of EU countries such as The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Italy, are allowed to bring their prescribed natural cannabis to the UK with them, being protected under the Schengen Agreement, the Government stubbornly threaten to arrest UK residents that do the same.  Pure hypocrisy considering that expensive "Sativex" - a cannabis extract in alcohol - produced by Pharmaceutical companies, is available to a limited number of patients legally in the UK

Mr Cameron favours better education about drugs yet seems to know so little about cannabis himself.


  1. Well said Alun.

  2. The picture says it all. What an uneducated comments from someone who claims to have experience with drugs. His comments differentiating and making out one is more dangerous than other forms of cannabis is not only further confusing the issue , it also leaves the impression that he's in needs for a chat with someone who knows more his mere teenage impressions have left him with.

  3. When Cameron was at Eton, he was given a "Georgic" as a punishment for smoking cannabis. He was made to copy out lines, in Latin, from Virgil's "Georgics".

    I would like to give Cameron a "JSMill" and make him copy out J. S. Mill's "On Liberty", as punishment for the offence of being Prime Minister, whilst not understanding the essential principles of civil liberties (and for hypocrisy).

    I agree with you that it would be desirable to have legal access to "old-style" cannabis. The old-style cannabis that I remember best was Nepalese charas and Afghan/Pakistani hashish (Cannabis indica). Its THC content was higher than "Skunk" or any other type of 'grass'.

    I say this, not just from selective memory, but from comparison of figures for THC content of 'hashish', given in pharmaceutical textbooks, published in the 1970s, with Home Office figures for THC content of "Skunk" sent to me by Jacqui Smith, a couple of years ago, when she was Home Secretary.