Over the past four years or so the Daily Mail newspaper has been amongst the most rabid of the tabloid press as regards cannabis. It’s carried story after story about the supposed dangers of cannabis use, and is of course home to Melanie Phillips, who’s views are always good for a laugh.
If there were to be a competition to see which paper lead the campaign to return cannabis to class B, it would probably be the Mail wot won it.
Interesting then that on the 11th April the very same paper carried an opinion piece by ANDREW ALEXANDER entitled “The seriously inconvenient truth on drugs”. There is something very odd happening indeed when an article like this gets printed in the Mail.
Actually, joking apart the article is a very good, honest and accurate assessment of the present situation with regard to illegal drugs.
Discussing the proposed move back to class B, having explained that it would mean a penalty of 5 years for simple possession he states:
These are the sort of penalties we normally associate with conspiring to cause an explosion, violent bank robberies, armed assaults and so on.
If you say that such savage sentences would not be imposed then why are they so recently endorsed by the Home Office? This merely makes the law look an ass.
Can’t argue with that.
But he doesn’t stop at the criticism of the cannabis policy, he goes on to savage the hypocrisy of many prohibition supporters – the very foundation of the great Mail reading masses:
Many of us have witnessed the unattractive phenomenon of indignant – usually elderly – individuals denouncing drugs as they down their third double scotches.
This is in the Daily Mail remember, anywhere else wouldn’t be so shocking – but in the Mail? All over the country respectable tables were no doubt thumped in outrage as blood pressure rose.
He goes on to twist the knife into established Mail values by making the final inescapable conclusion:
However, crucially, applause by the zealous and high-minded for a drugs crackdown is quite drowned out by the noisy cheers from another quarter – the drugs suppliers; in particular, the obscenely wealthy drugs barons of South America.
Their wealth and power is wholly dependent on drugs being illegal.
This is why drugs will have to be legalised at some time – but controlled like tobacco and appropriately taxed.
Prohibition was the biggest single boost to gangsterism the U.S. ever experienced.
With huge sums at their disposal, the bootleggers corrupted the police, the courts, the judiciary and politicians.
No one was keener on Prohibition then, or the criminalisation of drugs now, than the mafia.
Interestingly, but not really surprisingly, the Daily Mail website hasn’t printed any feedback comments about this article. They did get some because I sent one – a nice “thank you” bit of feedback praising the article for being an honest reflection of the situation. Even praise didn’t get published.
So to set the record straight, thank you for printing this Daily Mail, I’m sure you didn’t mean to, but you did and that’s all that matters.
This item is so far off the Mail’s normal agenda it is a genuine surprise it got anywhere near being published, but there it is. Pigs may indeed fly one day and when they do, the Mail might actually report it.