Fun with drugsWhen I read yesterday that Charlie Clarke planned to return pot to class B because an upcoming report would show that new evidence compelled it, I was stunned. What new evidence could have brought that conclusion? There was a recent study into pot and mental illness but although its conclusions provoked thought (I mentioned them here; too lazy to look the URL, sorry), it didn't show any great danger from pot. (Really just the same old story: if you're nuts already, smoking pot might make it worse. Yeahbut so might having a caseful of beer.) So I was pleased and yet outraged to find out Clarke had misrepresented the report. Pleased because his stance has been shown to be bullshit.
But outraged on two counts. One, that a politician is yet again putting his opinion above the science. They can't help themselves. Clarke knows that the Tories make Labour out to be weak on this sort of thing. ("Weak" in British political talk is a deadly insult. You can draw your own conclusions about a system that thinks reasonableness and consideration, rather than kneejerk lashings, are "weak".) Labour are a bit "weak" on drugs altogether. They've shown themselves willing to consider that druggies are not Satan's legion and that there might just be a social cause for their problems. So Clarke has found an easy way to look "strong". Attack pot. Count two is that Clarke has acted to nobble the report, by stating before its publication that he's considering ignoring its recommendation. He didn't actually say in his statement that that was what he was doing but it is.
You know, the world really does have worse problems than kids' smoking marijuana. But Charlie Clarke's not really in the fixing problems business. One of the big problems with his generation of Labourites is that they are nannyists: all leftists believe that the state should nurture the people, but the nannyists think it should be your mother. Mothers, bless 'em, worry when their kids are having fun. They know that most fun things have a downside (the newspapers always tell them). But every night down the pub doesn't end with heads in gutters, and most, almost all, kids who have a puff walk away unscathed. Mothers generally grow out of bullying their kids, realising that all they do is drive the kid to hide the fun from them, or worse, flaunt it with unseemly disrespect. Sometimes the mums remember that they too once had fun. But governments never do grow out of it. Probably because they are packed full of the kind of hollow reeds who smoked but didn't inhale or were at parties where everybody did a line of coke but somehow they didn't; in other words, people who have never had fun and are fucked if they're going to let anyone else have any.