Pubdate: Wed, 19 Sep 2007
Source: Guardian, The (UK)
Copyright: 2007 Guardian Newspapers Limited
Author: Dave Cole


The bent of all parties for knee-jerk reactionary populist
policy-making (Badge of honour) puts me off politics and all parties'
rush to recriminalise cannabis is just another example.

For a minority of people cannabis (skunk and its derivatives in
particular) is problematic .... Criminalising people who use cannabis
is not the answer.

We need to start giving very clear harm reduction advice including,
but not only: "if it's skunk you are smoking .... only smoke small
amounts and don't use it too often".

However, if someone was drinking a bottle of vodka when they used to
drink a bottle of wine ... we don't criminalise them, we advise them
of the relative issues, including don't drink so much because that is
so much stronger!

As with cannabis/skunk, some people should be advised to stop using
altogether. As Jack Cole says, you can get over most problems with
drugs, but often convictions lead to problems for a lifetime and don't
help people deal with their life issues.

I manage a small drug/alcohol team who regularly try to deal with
these issues including those of hypocrisy.

Dave Cole (no relation whatsoever) 
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