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Blogs

A Drugs Question for David Cameron

18 September 2011

11:31 PM

18 September 2011

11:31 PM

Though scarcely the main thrust of James’s most recent post, this is still notable:

Lib Dem conference delegates have just provided the press with a nice easy story, they’ve voted to set up a panel to look at the legalisation of cannabis and the decriminalisation of all drugs.

I know James is tweaking the press corps just as much as he is enjoying the Lib Dems living up to their reputation on these matters. Those wacky dope-fiends in the grow-your-own-pot party! Nevertheless, could it be possible that the sandal-wearing geography teachers (sorry, this stereotyping thing is contagious) are right? I mean, are the drug laws defensible in either moral or practical terms, let alone both? Perhaps they are (though I am not persuaded by arguments to that effect) but it is also the case that there are heaps of people who will, in private, admit they don’t work but for whom any change is, apparently, inconceivable. So failure must be the only option. The Lib Dems are hardly the only people to have had these thoughts.

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As we have had occasion to note before:

[W]hen [David Cameron] campaigned for the Tory leadership he said it was time for "fresh thinking and a new approach" to drug policy. He correctly noted that "Politicians attempt to appeal to the lowest common denominator by posturing with tough policies and calling for crackdown after crackdown. Drugs policy has been failing for decades." While a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee he said the then-government should "initiate a discussion" at the United Nations to consider "alternative ways – including the possibility of legalisation and regulation – to tackle the global drugs dilemma."

Does the Prime Minister still believe this? Perhaps some friendly backbencher could raise this at the next edition of Prime Minister’s Questions?

 

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