MP Norman LambSpeaking at an event organised by the Institute of Public Policy Research thinktank on Wednesday evening, Norman Lamb, the MP for North Norfolk, said that more half of ministers in this Government had smoked cannabis.
He described the UK’s current drugs laws as pathetic and a “monumental failure of public policy”.
Mr Lamb worked with many of the current Conservative ministers when he was a care minister in the Coalition. He said: “We have the crazy situation that, almost certainly, more than half of this government – half of the government ministers in a Conservative government – will have taken drugs in their younger years.
“They put it down, in a very middle-class way, to youthful indiscretion, while other fellow citizens end up criminalised and their careers blighted as a result of taking a substance that is less dangerous than substances that are entirely legal.”
Former Conservative frontbenchers David Willetts, Francis Maude, Chris Grayling and Oliver Letwin have admitted to smoking cannabis in their youth as have Labour leadership candidates Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper.
The truth about Prime Minister, David Cameron's drug use continues to crystallise. At first it was hinted at in the press that he was almost expelled from Eton for smoking cannabis. Now, commentators are prepared to go a little further with the details, reporting that he "was punished for smoking cannabis at Eton in 1982, weeks before his O-level exams", according to a 2007 biography.
Any number of politicians from all parties have now gone public to admit that they have smoked cannabis. In fact so many have made statements to that effect that it is no longer news - which is, of course, their plan.
Their carefully scripted 'off the cuff laddish admissions' have all been couched in the same language: it was something they did long ago in another galaxy where cannabis was milder and quite harmless.
The problem with this argument is that it is precisely because of the current fad in law-making, to write law that is as harsh and unforgiving as possible, that has led to the situation where cannabis has become stronger and - if the politicians are to be believed - harmful. Prohibition results in stronger drugs because the cost of doing business illicitly raises costs which have to be recouped. These are the conclusions of a research group at Stanford University in America.
Furthermore, the perceived danger in consuming drugs banned by 'adults' actually encourages drug use. In the Netherlands, where drug use has always been tolerated - if not actually legalised - drug consumption continues to fall.
Alcohol is available in varying strengths. That has not prevented legalisation and licensing. In fact it was licensing that allowed excessively strong formulations of alcohol to be banned.
Thus the current argument that "it was OK for is all to smoke cannabis in our youth but now it is too dangerous for the likes of you" is a nonsense.
The way to control cannabis use is not via a blanket ban aimed at frightening everybody and turning them into law-breakers but by legalising and licensing it, as is now happening in numerous countries around the world.
From the Netherlands Times
The tolerant drug policy in the Netherlands has made much of Amsterdam’s city centre “sleazy,” according to London Mayor Boris Johnson. He stated that the progressive approaches in countries like the Netherlands and Portugal are “outdated”
Johnson made this attack on Amsterdam and its Red Light District after an audience asked him whether a different, softer approach on drugs is needed, modelled on experiences in countries like the Netherlands, Portugal and Uruguay.
Two weeks ago there was a crisis within the British government over the drug policy when it was revealed that the Minister of Internal Affairs kept a critical drug report secret. In this report scientists stated that British politicians can learn from experiences in the Netherlands, Portugal and Uruguay.
Said the Mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard Edzard van der Laan, "Fuck Boris".