Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Law Is a Dope on Dealing with Drugs

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Law Is a Dope on Dealing with Drugs

Article excerpt

Byline: A.N. WILSON

AN expert on psychosis, one Professor Robin Murray, has claimed that cannabis is the biggest cause of mental disorders in this country. This will give great joy to all the bossyboots and minders of other people's business who long to keep our prohibitive and dangerous drug laws in place.

Soften the law on dope, they argue, and you will be breeding a generation of dopeheads.

There are several things wrong with these nanny-arguments. The first is that they - and the expert on psychosis - get everything the wrong way around. You are not a dopehead because you take dope. You take dope because you are a dopehead.

It would be an excessively cautious, or cowardly, person who never experimented with drugs when all their friends had done so. Why not? The notion that by taking one puff of marijuana you are on a slippery slope to the junkie's needle and death slumped by a dustbin is not borne out by any common-sense observation.

The majority of those who have slithered into problems with drugs or alcohol had behavioural problems in the first place. It was their character, not the drugs, that led them astray, and much as some MPs and newspaper columnists would love to tidy up human nature by Act of Parliament, it can't be done.

Like anyone else with an interest in different experiences, I have made mild experiments with drugs. I've smoked dope about six times, and found it considerably less enjoyable than drinking wine.

I have dropped acid about four times, and think that three of those trips were some of the most marvellous experiences of my life. But LSD isn't addictive, and it would be a weird person who wanted to go on and on taking drugs. We haven't, as a society, woken up to why it would be wrong to have a few weirdos in our midst, so we think to solve it all by legislation. …

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