10 Jun Tory MP Rapped for Suggesting Cocaine Safer for Kids than Cannabis

For immediate release 10th June 2011


A TORY MP’s suggestion it is safer for children to snort cocaine than smoke cannabis has been branded as ‘irresponsible madness’ by Peter Reynolds, leader of Cannabis Law Reform (CLEAR).

Charles Walker, the Conservative member for Broxbourne made the bizarre claim in a Commons debate on Cannabis where he said “I do not want any youngster to take drugs … However: it is a lot easier to repair a septum in one’s nose than to repair a brain.” Charled Walker MP thinks snorting cocaine is less dangerous than smoking cannabis.

The Government’s chief drugs advisor, Prof Les Iverson described Cannabis as one of the “safer recreational drugs”, however, Mr Walker claimed today’s cannabis is much stronger than in the 1970s and 1980s, saying “The drug with which we are dealing now is highly toxic and highly dangerous”.

“This is simply scaremongering nonsense that goes against the science,” said Peter Reynolds. “Alcohol and tobacco are far more harmful.”

Reynolds also criticised the MP for quoting a disproven link between a faulty gene for dopamine transmission and psychosis.

“A study by Keele University found there was no link between cannabis use and incidence of psychotic disorders

“Other studies have shown increases in population cannabis use have not been followed by increases in psychotic incidence

“The ratio of cannabis material required to produce a fatal overdose is approximately 40,000:1, that’s around 11kg, to say cannabis is toxic is simply wrong and to imply it is more dangerous than snorting cocaine is bonkers.

CLEAR is campaigning for cannabis to be taxed and regulated.

“A taxed and regulated market would help protect children by making it harder for them to obtain cannabis, which is why they have lower cannabis use in The Netherlands than in the UK.

“Cannabis is legally sold in Dutch coffeeshops who are shut down if they are caught selling to minors, which is why they don’t do it, it’s just not worth their while. In the UK, the only ID a dealer might ask for is a £10 note,” said Mr Reynolds.


Contact: Chris Bovey – chrisbovey@clear-uk.org
Peter Reynolds – peterreynolds@clear-uk.org +44(0)788 0872022

If you would like more information or would like to arrange an interview please contact us.

P.O.Box 674, Salfords, REDHILL, Surrey, RH1 1BN

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