just waiting for my departing aeroplane when i saw…
PETER HITCHENS: Conservative values? They are vanishing in a cloud of cannabis smoke
Poisoners are bad, but doctors who poison their patients are a million times worse, traitors to their profession and their oaths.
Something similar goes for people who obtain public office by claiming they are ‘Conservatives’ and who then side with forces which will destroy and ruin all the things they claim to defend.
I wouldn’t mind if they stood as Greens or Liberal Democrats, or for the Socialist Workers Party. Even the simplest voter could then see the health warning on the packet.
But a surprising number of people are still fooled by brand names, loyally continuing to buy (or vote for) products which long ago changed out of all recognition.
So, while Crispin Blunt , the Tory MP, may appear to the casual observer to be a silly old sheep, pathetically trying to fend off middle age by adopting funky causes, I cannot take him that lightly.
He does terrible damage by lining up with the drug legalisers. That is why they woo him.
I have tried to argue with him about his support for marijuana legalisation, which has now led him to take part in a well-funded lobby called the Conservative Drug Policy Reform Group. It is a waste of breath.
Like all supporters of this policy, he simply does not listen to facts or warnings, and ploughs on as if he has not heard what I say.
In his case, it is perhaps because he is not very bright. But the big money backers of the legalisation cause are most certainly very clever. They don’t care marijuana use is increasingly linked to severe mental illness and now to violent crime.
These facts are a just a nuisance to them, as similar facts were a nuisance to the Big Tobacco companies in the 1950s and 1960s.
Remember how many years and painful, gasping deaths were needed before they finally conceded that there might be something seriously wrong with the product that made them rich?
All they see are the enormous profits they hope to make once marijuana is legalised, advertised and on open easy sale in the high street and on the internet.
People go on about how keeping drugs illegal leaves them in the hands of criminals. Well, of course it does. Criminals, for all their faults, cannot do anything like as much damage with a dangerous product as cynical legal businessmen can.
Anyway, legalisation would not get rid of the criminal gangs. Legal marijuana would be taxed heavily.
That is one of the reasons some stupid Tory ‘libertarians’ advocate this policy.
Well, legal alcohol and tobacco are smuggled in huge quantities in this country, to avoid the taxes paid on them.
In the American state of Colorado, where marijuana is legal, criminal sellers continue to flourish, undercutting legal sellers on price, and deterring any attempt to impose strength limits on legal drugs.
Legal traders continue to sell at devastatingly high strengths, for fear that they will lose business to the black market if they don’t.
Mind you, Mr Blunt is not that much worse than our supposedly tough Government, which sternly says it has no plans to weaken the drug laws, but which has winked for years at the refusal of lazy police forces to enforce the laws against marijuana.
We were falsely told that this would ‘free up’ officers to concentrate on supposedly ‘harder’ drugs. This is baloney. In fact, weak enforcement has spread, as I long ago predicted.
It was revealed last week that several forces now offer those caught with Class A drugs such as heroin, cocaine or crack cocaine the choice ‘between prosecution and an education programme’.
The official maximum penalty for this crime is seven years in prison, yet police now treat it much as they treat a minor breach of the speed limit.
The Government knows this policy is disastrous. Today, for example, The Mail on Sunday reports that the problem of marijuana-induced mental illness is so severe that the first NHS-funded clinic for patients with psychosis as a result of cannabis use has opened in London. There will need to be more of these.
In a letter to Admiral Lord West, one of the few people in politics who is alert to the problem, the Tory Junior Minister Lady Blackwood recently admitted that ‘high potency cannabis can lead to psychosis,’ and that more than 50,000 people are now being treated by the NHS for marijuana-related problems.
Then she admitted: ‘We know that drugs are a key driver of the recent increases in serious violence.’
Did you get that? I get jeered at from all quarters for saying that drug abuse is linked with serious violence. But the Government knows it is true.
Yet nothing is done to dispel the stinking cloud of marijuana smoke that lingers in all our cities.
Fools and dupes are beguiled by heartbreak stories about how this terrible drug is a miracle cure for all kinds of ills – PR propaganda carefully designed to change its image. And people such as Crispin Blunt are praised for their supposed courage.