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Via @glynbeddau

Despite the fact that I used to have extremely long hair and moustache, I’ve never  taken cannabis .Well that’s not entirely true  I actually id the reverse of Bill Clinton who famously claimed he didn’t inhale when smoking weed during his Rhodes scholar years.

 â€œWhen I was in England, I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and didn’t like it,â€� Clinton said. “I didn’t inhale, and I didn’t try it again.â€�

I on the other hand  would sit in a small room in collage  with friends and while they smoked I presume I would have inhaled cannabis fumes.The thing is that my friends although they were breaking the law where often more decent and honest than those who did not smoke weed.

I doubt that many in these islands have never had similar friends.

Certainly former Conservative leader and Welsh Secretary Lord Hague 
is right when he called on the Government to legalise cannabis. 

He called for reform following the outrage after mum Charlotte Caldwell had supplies of cannabis oil she had bought in Canada for her 12-year-old son Billy, who has acute epilepsy, confiscated at Heathrow airport.

Mr Hague, writing in the Telegraph, said the idea cannabis can be “driven off the streets and out of people’s lives by the state is nothing short of deluded”.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has suggested “a different way” was needed following Billy’s case being highlighted.

Writing in the Telegraph, Lord Hague, who led the party from 1997 to 2001 and was foreign secretary under David Cameron from 2010 to 2014, called for the party to rethink policy, saying the war against the drug had been lost.
He wrote:

 “Everyone sitting in a Whitehall conference room needs to recognise that, out there, cannabis is ubiquitous, and issuing orders to the police to defeat its use is about as up-to-date and relevant as asking the Army to recover the Empire.
“This battle is effectively over.”

Mr Mr Hague once told a magazine he had not always taken such good care of his body. Between the ages of 15 and 21 he drank 14 pints a day during a summer job hauling crates of drinks into pubs across South Yorkshire for his family’s soft drinks firm.

“We used to have a pint at every stop and we used to have about 10 stops a day,” he said. “You worked hard so you didn’t feel you’d drunk 10 pints by four o’clock – you used to sweat so much.”
And the day’s drinking did not stop there, he explained. “Then [we would] go home for tea and then go out in the evening to the pub. I think when you’re a teenager you can do that.”

OK we may treat this with scepticism , but who would argue  that the health issues of excessive alcohol drinking are worse than having a few joints.

I am not saying Cannabis is safer  but that if we were to use the same criteria of dangerous drugs on alcohol, then we would have to ban it.

Prohibition in the USA has shown us how banning a drug (in this case alcohol) doest work’

Would we see people completely stoned  out of their heads if we legalised cannabis?

There may be an initial upsurge but with proper controls   then it will ease  and as some underage drinkers found when they reached 18 there was less of an attraction to drinking alcohol when it was legal for them to do so.

Controls on how it is sold could lead to the quality of the drug being smoked   being understood and the really dangerous  sorts excluded.

It will not be easy but  the time  has come not to surrender in the War against drugs bur to work out a responsible armistice.