Not how I remember it

Do you recall all that fuss about reclassifying cannabis a while back? One of the few liberal things that the government of Blair had done (downgrading cannabis to a Class C drug) was then undone by Brown. Who has never knowingly done a liberal act in his life.

I remember at the time thinking that it was nothing more than Gordon’s version of puritanism at work, what with him not being a scientist and consistently dismissing the opinion of scientists when the decision was made. Seems I’m not the only one.

The row over the reclassification of cannabis has been reignited after the government’s chief drug adviser accused ministers of “distorting” the evidence.

Professor David Nutt, who heads the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, says it does not cause major health problems.

He accused ex-home secretary Jacqui Smith, who reclassified the drug, of “devaluing” scientific research.

So far, so sensible. But wait, there’s more:

Public concern over the links between high-strength cannabis, known as skunk, and mental illness led the government to reclassify cannabis to Class B from C last year.

Hold on a minute, that isn’t how I recall it. I must have forgotten the massive criminalise cannabis marches and the talking heads demanding stiffer penalties.

Oh wait, no, I didn’t forget. That just didn’t happen. The concern was driven by government and by government’s fake charities, and by one or two newspapers. It was not taken up by the public and it was not driven by scientific opinion. It was governmental concern, and that was it.

But the BBC doesn’t seem to think that the government and the public can be treated as different things. Funny, that.

Full disclosure: don’t use, never have, can’t be bothered. But the principle doesn’t change if you smoke dope or don’t – it’s still a nonsense to have it criminalised.

3 thoughts on “Not how I remember it

  1. I was listening to this debate on the radio this morning – a spokesman for ‘on the ground’ health-care workers opined that there was a strong connection between cannabis use and mental health issues. This because a high proportion of people with the aforementioned issues use or have used cannabis. What is never mentioned when this argument is brought forth are the great numbers of people under forty who use/have used cannabis and continue to lead fairly normal lives.

  2. Also, that those cases of mental problems are with people who have a predisposition to such problems anyway. Causation or correlation? Obviously everyone must be banned from using. Just in case.

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