The news, and the skews, in the national media…
There is no perfect template for reform. Different countries have had vastly different experiences. Culture, fashion, demographics and economics all play a part – arguably a bigger part – than state enforcement. But the international trend is moving away from the crudest form of ban-and-punish regime. Most cannabis users do little harm to themselves or others, except by funding organised crime, a function of illegality. Many who might otherwise dabble unscathed end up harmed by the consequences of prohibition: street products of unpredictable strength; career-ending convictions for minor offences; retail contact with gangsters.
Guardian editorial, 8 March
Whether you support cannabis decriminalisation or not, it’s clear that the Lib Dems have limited ability to actually influence government policy. They have eight MPs now. Eight. Less than one seventh of the number they had in 2010… The Lib Dems had a chance to stand up for young people and they blew it. It’s insulting they think this ‘cool dad’ act might be enough to turn things around.
Abi Wilkinson, Guardian, 9 March
The Big Dope lobby and its many suckers and dupes constantly attack me for pointing out the dangers of the drug they want to legalise… When will the twin lies that there is a ‘war on drugs’ and that taking cannabis is a harmless, peaceable recreation, be exposed for the dangerous falsehoods they are?
Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday, 27 March
The attitude towards drinking in this country is getting increasingly bizarre. On the one hand you have that laugh-a-minute health chief who says she can’t even look at a glass of wine without ruminating on the increased risk of breast cancer, on the other you have our motley crew of lads and ladettes drinking themselves into oblivion in city centres… And then there are the rest of us, the vast majority who like a glass of wine or three but tend not to run amok or pick fights on aircraft and yet are still constantly berated for a nighttime snifter.
Virginia Blackburn, Express, 10 March
Governments worldwide need to learn one crucial lesson from the emergence of NPS. Their emergence is directly related to global prohibition and the war on drugs we have been fighting for over 100 years, a war that has had few successes.
Karenza Moore, Independent, 4 March