Keith Vaz, who chairs the home affairs select committee, described Nutt's comments as "unwise". Vaz said: "As the country's top adviser on the issue, he is implying to many young people that cannabis is not particularly dangerous."Well, yes, that's the point, isn't it? What with it actually being not particularly dangerous and all. In a rather more surprising development, today's Independent features an article from Bruce Anderson that actually talks a lot of sense:
So let us start with fundamentals. Until the 1960s, our legal system was overshadowed by pre-libertarian theories of the state, which criminalised breaches of Christian morality and started from the assumption that governments were entitled to regulate the private behaviour of adults. As that has all gone over the past few decades, what theory of the state now permits governments to prohibit adults from taking drugs? There is only one intellectually respectable answer to that question: none.Right on. He does blot his copybook a bit later in the article, unfortunately, with some slightly mental stuff about using the SAS to combat foreign drug traffickers (proper God-fearing indigenous British drug traffickers presumably being all right), which put me in mind of Michael Portillo's infamous Conservative Party Conference speech from 1995. The SAS stuff is towards the end, but I found the most amusing bit to be at about 1:10 when Portillo pauses briefly after uttering the word "erect" to lick his lips lingeringly in what is probably the Gayest Moment Ever at a Conservative Party Conference.