The Daily Mail chose to make a report on new research linking cannabis with psychosis into its front page headline today. The Today Programme too led on the story this morning. It was always inevitable some wag would link the cabinet cannabis confessors to this news – apparently the study alleges one-off use makes users more prone to being delusional. I can see the Private Eye headline now.
The MPs caught up in the pot palaver seem to be saying that in their day it wasn’t possible to get through a university education without encountering the wacky baccy – with the mitigating factor that it was fairly innocuous compared to today’s more potent varieties. What conclusions are we to draw? Well there there is an argument that recent history has witnessed a normalisation of illegal substances. 10 years ago Noel Gallagher of Oasis claimed that taking drugs was like having a cup of tea to the youff of today. When I interviewed him later he stood by his remarks – notwithstanding the fact that by then he was, like the cabinet strayers, reformed and drug-free. Both examples illustrate that recreational drug use is not new: it’s been around on the estates of Manchester where Oasis hail from and Oxbridge quadrangles since… oooh at least Clinton’s non-inhalation.
There’s other undercurrents to all this too. Elsewhere in the blogosphere a debate has broken out about Gordon Brown’s friendship with the Daily Mail. Some bloggers on the left are unhappy with this pairing and see the much vaunted moral compass as having gone a bit skew-whiff .The death of super-casinos, repealing all-day drinking and further cannabis classification are all listed as reasons. None of these policies are major doorstep issues in my experience; drug abuse yes but cannabis per se not really. Whether the funny fags are classed as B or C, perhaps any drugs war should be waged against the harder Class A stuff and the dependency culture that goes with them, rather than what is effectively a middle class relaxant.
Mind you as an abstemious sort maybe it’s not my place to comment. As Adam Ant once said “Don’t drink, don’t smoke, what do you do?”