24 Apr HASC Drugs Inquiry – Russell And The Three Stooges

WATCH THE ORAL EVIDENCE SESSION HERE

Russell Brand entered dressed somewhere between a cowboy, a pirate and a clown.

He is a man of fine intellect but his eccentricity is what brings the press flocking to him. It is the reason that Keith Vaz called him (even if towards the end he found it difficult to disguise his distaste).

I can only admire Brand’s ability to exploit to his advantage every circumstance he finds himself in. He is fine entertainment and talks some very good sense but always with a bizarre twist.

Mary Brett could not be a greater contrast. A straightlaced school mistress to the conservative side of prudish would be a generous verdict. She is of another age, another dimension and another version of what is “truth”. Her perfomance as a witness was embarrassing. You only have to look at her website Cannabis Skunk Sense to see how sadly misguided she is. In many ways she is a fine advocate for our cause because she personifies how ridiculous and inept is our opposition.

Kathy Gyngell is, I am afraid, a different kettle of fish. She has no integrity. Her apparently meausred contribution is a contrivance. She always descends, in the end, to hysteria, to moralising, to prejudice. She did indeed utter the tripe: “skunk causes psychosis” that no scientist, not even our most fervent opponents will confirm.

Peter Hitchens was Peter Hitchens. At least he is consistent, rational and coherent. It is no secret that I rather like Peter, even if we disagree fundamentally on this issue. I spoke to him and wished him good luck yesterday evening and proposed that we should get together for a custard pie fight. He told me he couldn’t trust what I might put in the custard.

In summary, I think the ProHos put on a very poor show. If I am given the opportunity to put our case, I know I can demolish their arguments completely – although whether the committee would listen is entirely another question.

Transform has been invited to give evidence on 1st May which is good news . I know that whoever speaks will give a good account from our side, although sadly, they will never advance the unique and beneficial aspects of cannabis. The lack of any evidence at all so far about medicinal cannabis is a glaring omission which Vaz must do something about. If not, it will come back to haunt him.

So, where we go from here remains to be seen. Members of the committee dropped hints today about it being a “long inquiry”. There may be much more to come, or not. Why Vaz doesn’t publish some sort of methodology or process is of most concern. The inquiry is part of our democratic process and I believe we have a right to see it being exercised responsibly, effectively and fairly. At present it seems to fall well short of that.