What an exciting week it has been for the drug law reform movement. If you’ve been away with the fairies for the past few days, you will have missed the Global commission report when former Presidents of Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Switzerland, Prime Minister of Greece, Kofi Annan, Richard Branson, George Shultz, Paul Volcker and Other Leaders Called for a “Major Paradigm Shift” in Global Drug Policy. In this country Release launched its new campaign “Drugs – It’s Time for Better Laws“. No wonder the prohibition supporters have been getting jumpy recently!
For a good account of the past week, take a look at the Transform Twitter feed (#Transformdrugs) and follow the links from around June 2nd.
The coverage this week has actually been quite good, although the Mail tried to dis the whole thing as best they could with a report on the Global Commission report entitled “Luvvies for legalisation: You’re being naive in the extreme, celebrities told after drugs plea to PM” (read it here) – who did the telling? You’ll never guess!
Mary Brett, a trustee of charity Cannabis Skunk Sense said: ‘This is naive in the extreme.
Although to be fair the Mail also ran a straight article the next day entitled “War on drugs has failed and caused ‘devastating consequences for societies worldwide’ claims global narcotics watchdog” (here) which was actually very good – and included a side bar about the anarchic mess unfolding in Mexico as a result of President Calderon’s attempt to crush the drugs trade. It was spoilt by the last paragraph though which just said
But the stars were condemned by drugs campaigners who said removing penalties for cannabis would send a message such drugs were safe.
With doctors and drugs experts warning that skunk can be as damaging as cocaine and heroin
So would they say sorry for the reefer madness style “apology” from a few years back?
The answer came on Sunday with an article written by the author of the offending article, John Rentoul (read it here). Far from saying sorry Rentoul trots out the same old hype as if it were unquestioned fact.
The Independent on Sunday accepts that the law has a role, as an expression of social disapproval, in discouraging experimentation.
Does it really? Rentoul should be aware that for millions of British people the disapproval of the law had absolutely no effect in discouraging cannabis use. If this is the official view of the Independent it is badly out of touch with reality.
Information and education is more important than legal prohibition, but decriminalisation would predictably lead to more mental illness and, in the case of other drugs, addiction.
Which is such utter garbage as to not merit a serious reply. Do read the article for yourself and then read the replies which are altogether better informed than this pathetic article and generally scathing of it.
Finally, what of the government’s view in all this? The home Office was quite clear in it’s view: The Home Office stated it will ignore all such requests for a change in the prohibition law. ‘We have no intention of properly controlling drugs. We don’t care what anyone says, we’ve got our fingers in our ears and we’re not listening…lalala…” A spokesman with no name said.
The madness continues, but the cries for change are getting to be a deafening roar.