Thursday, July 19, 2007



Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, has admitted that she smoked cannabis when she was a student at Oxford University.

Her confession came the day after Gordon Brown announced she would head a review of UK drugs strategy - including assessing whether the Government should reverse a decision three years ago to downgrade the classification of cannabis.

"I did break the law... I was wrong... drugs are wrong," Miss Smith, 44, said.

She was asked on GMTV whether she had taken the drug while being interviewed about the Prime Minister's announcement.

"I have. I did when I was at university. I haven't done for at least 25 years."

She later told the BBC she had smoked it "just a few times'', had "not particularly'' enjoyed it and had not taken any other illegal drugs.
I'm not worried by her admission, but the idea that she kept smoking cannabis although she didn't enjoy it is alarming. Is our Home Secretary a masochist? Perhaps she wears a dog collar in her private life. The Cabinet is getting to be an interesting place, with Miss Smith's kinks joining the already present spiked chains of Opus Dei.

Then again, maybe Miss Smith is a liar. Maybe she's one of these people who enjoyed smoking cannabis, but lie about it now because they think it's to their personal advantage to do so. Maybe she's one of these contemptible people who are willing to collaborate in or cause the destruction of lives, the shattering of families and the artificial crime wave we endure - all caused by drug prohibition - if they think it will advance their careers.

A lot of people, reportedly, smoke or have smoked cannabis, but they go quiet at times like this. That's understandable, since lives can be affected by the admission that one engages in illegal activities, even if the law is wrong. But this silence is harmful.

I've smoked cannabis, on and off, for nearly thirty years. It hasn't done me any... ah... where was I? Oh yes, it hasn't done me any harm. What's more, I'm going to continue to smoke cannabis, assuming I can ever find any that isn't skunk. I hate skunk. It just sends you to sleep. It's one of the adverse effects of illegality - the cultivation of hyper-strong hybrids that can be grown under lights and sold at a premium without the risks of importation.

The drug prohibition laws are tyrannical, stupid and destructive, and I'm not going to dignify them by pretending I will take the slightest notice of them.

In that attitude, I stand with several million other Britons. If they all spoke up, we'd see some change.


Anonymous said...

I've never touched the stuff, myself, but I do suspect that prohibition does more harm than good.

Peter Risdon said...

Just so. And, of course, I'm not suggesting it should be compulsory.

Anonymous said...

Agreed all round. Skunk is the bathtub gin of cannabis. Prohibition extenuates all the negatives and minimises all the positives

Anonymous said...

What really gets me is the only people they really throw the book at are little old ladies who grow a bit and sprinkle it in their cakes.