30 Jun No Mr Hitchens, The CLEAR Campaign Does Not Seek To “Weaken The Cannabis Laws”

The Manchester magistrate story rumbles on. Today, Peter Hitchens deals with it in his Mail On Sunday column and he even gave it a brief mention on the BBC’s ‘Sunday Morning Live‘. Happily though, his fellow guests, Bishop Stephen Lowe and Bonnie Greer, agreed that there is no place for the expression of extremist personal opinion from the magistrates’ bench.

Peter flatters me by describing me as “…charming, plausible and determined…” but claims that I am “…leader of a campaign to weaken the cannabis laws“. I respond to him as follows:

The CLEAR campaign does not seek to “weaken the cannabis laws”. On the contrary, we seek to strengthen them. There is no control over cannabis at all at present because our irresponsible policymakers have abandoned this £6 billion pa market to criminals.

I share your contempt for our political ‘leaders’ (a misuse of the word if there ever was one). They care not one jot for the health of the public and drugs policy has nothing to do with this. They serve their masters in the alcohol industry who are terrified of a safer and healthier alternative to their poisonous products.

Cannabis is not harmless and for a very, very few it can be dangerous but so is crossing the road. Tobacco kills 100,000 per year and alcohol 30,000. Three times as many people are admitted to hospital each year for peanut allergy as for cannabis. As Professor Les Iversen, the governments chief drugs advisor says: “It is never possible for a scientist to say that anything is totally safe. But, at the end of the day, scaremongering does science – and the public – a great disservice. Cannabis is simply not as dangerous as it is being made out to be.”

If anyone thinks they can ‘stop’ cannabis when we have used it for more than 5,000 years and in Britain we now consume more than three tonnes every day then they are like King Canute’s sycophants. They have no chance and trying to do so will simply result in getting very, very wet, possibly even drownings.

What we need to do is take responsibility, protect our children, regulate and control cannabis so it is available to adults only and produced under strict quality control with product labelling, harm prevention advice, etc, etc. This is the only intelligent way forward.