02 Jul John Woodcock MP. Another Ignoramus On Drugs Policy

John Woodcock MP

“…look at Amsterdam, which has gone down the legalisation route for some drugs. Legalising or semi-legalising cannabis—or whatever its status is—has brought with it hard drug problems, making them far more available in that city.”

Source: Hansard

This is from a Westminster Hall debate, held yesterday on the subject of ‘legal highs’. It’s difficult to conceive how an MP who puts himself forward in such a debate can be so badly informed and can mislead his colleagues and the public so irresponsibly.

In Holland, where adults may purchase up to five grams of cannabis without fear of prosecution, rates of heroin use and addiction are very much lower than the UK.

The EMCDDA reports problem opioid use (rate/1000)as follows:

UK: 7.9 – 8.3

Netherlands: 0.8 – 1.0

So, in fact problematic opioid use in Holland is about one-sixth of what it is in the UK.

Cocaine use is also significantly lower in the Netherlands. Just about every indicator shows Holland as having lower drug use and fewer related problems than the UK.


Is it any wonder our drugs policy is such a mess when MPs rely on fantasy and imagination to inform their debates?

Mind you, there are extenuating circumstances. John Woodcock was a special advisor to Gordon ‘skunk is lethal‘ Brown when he was prime minister. With a background like that this unfortunate MP has no chance of saying anything sensible about drugs policy.