05 Jun John Rentoul Prefers The Drugs Trade To Remain With Organised Crime

John Rentoul

In an extraordinary and confused reaction to comments on his article “The truth about the lies about drugs”, John Rentoul, chief political commentator for The Independent on Sunday (IOS), said:

“It is a bad thing that the drugs business is in the hands of criminals. My view is that it would be a worse thing if it were legalised, and regulated or administered by the government.”

Rentoul was reacting to a stream of criticism about his article in which he confessed that he was responsible for the IOS retracting its support for the decriminalisation of cannabis in March 2007. Now, with the Global Commission on Drugs Policy calling for the legalisation of cannabis, 70% of Britons approving the idea of legal regulation and public opinion clearly in favour of reform, Rentoul looks more than a little out of touch. Politicians seem to have completely misjudged the public mood and the constant denial of scientific evidence of the relative harmlessness of cannabis is making them look more than a little stupid. See David Cameron’s untruths spoken on YouTube earlier in the year and Nadine Dorries’ quite ridiculous statements on Any Questions just last week.

Unfortunately, in his blog post this evening, John Rentoul just dug himself even deeper into the mire. What responsible, intelligent journalist can possibly call for criminals to remain in control of the drugs trade? See his “I admit I was wrong” article and ask yourself, should this man enjoy the privilege of expressing his views in a national newspaper?