Pubdate: Sun, 10 Aug 2014
Source: Mail on Sunday, The (UK)
Copyright: 2014 Associated Newspapers Ltd.
Author: Peter Hitchens
Page: 27


THE Sun newspaper, which has in the past been a keen cheerleader and
bootlicker for the Blair creature, the Iraq and Afghan Wars and for
David Cameron, now wants a 'rethink' on drug laws. Well, you can't
rethink till you've thought in the first place.

Its pretext for this irresponsible tripe is an interview with Nick
Clegg, in which he claims we're too tough on drug possession. The
courts, he drivels, are 'imprisoning 1,000 users a year who have not
committed a crime other than possession'.

Not committed a crime other than possession? Really? Can he find half
a dozen people of whom this is true, let alone 1,000? No previous
convictions? No suspended sentences? No other offences? Just innocent
teenagers who have never even ridden a bike without lights? Really?

It's incredibly difficult to get jailed for drug possession. Most
cannabis users are let off without even being cautioned.

As for the others, more people (10,682) were cautioned in 2013 for
possessing a Class A drug (heroin, cocaine) than were prosecuted
(10,049). Of the 9,554 found guilty, just 545 went to prison for an
average term of about 16 weeks. Most (6,802) got soppy 'community
sentences', suspended sentences, or fines averaging UKP142. Another
1,424 were discharged. The story with classes B and C is much the
same, except that the fines are even lower and the jail terms even

The idea that this regime is too tough, and needs to be softened,
could only find a home in the head of someone as dim as Nick Clegg. I
do hope that next May the voters of Sheffield will chuck him out of

They may remember that their fellow citizen Alan Greaves, a kindly
church organist, was beaten to death on his way home from church there
at Christmas 2012, by two young men who laughed as they ran from his
bleeding body, and were later found to be cannabis smokers. Soft,
safe, nice cannabis, eh?

Mr Clegg wants to make it even easier to get. Let's put him back on
the streets, where he can meet the people who smoke it.
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