There's no smoke without ... er, that hot stuff

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The Independent Culture
Oh yes. Right. Yes.

Heh heh heh heh whoops ... Oh! Look at that! Wow. Anyway yes um yes this cannabis business nothing wrong with it they should legalise it of course it has no effect on me some people say it makes them garrulous but not me oh no I'm fine why am I shouting then? Shhhhh.

I think I'll get up now and have a glass of water, eight glasses of water, tinkle tinkle tinkle. And Mars bars. Eight Mars bars. Hey! The same number of Mars bars as glasses of water? Now don't tell me that's a coincidence.

Right. I think I won't. I think ... I'll ... just ... sit ... here ... quietly ... and ...

Indeedy-doody. Can't move anyway. Don't want to move. Don't need to move. I think I'll just sit here quietly and lend a sort of ... transcendental ... intellectual ... support to the, er.

The Legalise Cannabis Movement. There. See? And I'll tell you another thing: this newspaper supports it. There's another coincidence, right? The Legalise Cannabis Movement has the personal support of none other than our editor herself ... you know the one. Used to be on Spare Rib, edited Esquire, clever woman though oddly enough a bit shy I think, arr. Begins with an arr. You'd know her if you saw her.

So would I. Nothing wrong with my short-term memory, whatever doctors say about cannabis: powerful pain-killer (seems to work at the nociceptive level, pre-spinal), ruins your short-term memory, same dopaminergic pathway as heroin, nicotine and chocolate, probably addictive but probably not, ruins you short-term memory, but on the other hand what do doctors know? Hmmm? I don't mean my old Dad, who knows everything. I mean doctors.

I was denounced by a doctor the other day in a letter to this very paper. He said I needed psychoanalysis, I wasn't depressed, he was depressed, I didn't know what being depressed was, and anyway if I really was depressed I wouldn't be able to be funny. So that's me properly ticked off and dealt with, not to mention Tony Hancock who wasn't depressed at all, just topped himself to show off, you know what these comedians are like: pack of comedians. Just showing off, and never mind the historical evidence that just about every comedian who ever lived has used comedy as the last wall of defence against the intolerable bleakness of a world destitute of meaning or sense. That's just smarty-boots attention-seeking. Now if they were doctors, that would be a different matter. If they were doctors, they'd be entitled to depression, having to deal every day with a pack of bloody jokers who had the poor taste to be depressed.

But, there, we all know about doctors. Say one thing one day, something else the next. Did you know butter is good for you, now? My advice is, dig into the Lurpak now while you have the chance, because it'll be a killer again by Christmas, at which point the doctors will be telling us that cannabis neither causes time to slow down nor does it make you randy, garrulous or Velcro you to the sofa.

The trouble is, doctors tend on the whole to be members of Group A. Do you know about Group A? The world, do you see, is divided into two classes of people. Actually, it's not. It's divided into four classes of people. The first division, the big one, is between people who divide the world into two classes of people and people who don't. And the second division is between Group A people, who want everyone to be like them, and Group B, which is the rest of us. Doctors tend to be Group A, as do religious leaders, accountants, Inland Revenue officials, businessmen, alcoholics in denial, bank managers, Tory politicians, Daily Mail readers, the less confident sort of heterosexual, and DIY enthusiasts.

What's odd is that it's Group A who have managed to get the reputation of being grown-ups, when they are obviously so insanely childish that the only way they can get by is by hedging themselves around with regulations, rules and rigid codes of behaviour like the more Johnny-come-lately sort of boarding school, and then find their lives so intolerably restricted that they thereafter live almost entirely vicariously through the television and the margins of the "heritage" industry. Group A people are the ones who wonder how it would be if everyone did it, who believe it's all right for some, who suppose we think we're clever ... yet they're the same people who lap up all the insubstantial manufactured hokum about "Herriot Country", who visit things with " ... Experience" tacked on the end ("The BBC Experience", "The White Cliffs Experience"), who know all about the private lives of television actors, and who felt themselves unaccountably diminished when Diana died.

It's Group A people who are opposed to the legalisation of cannabis; Group A people who possess the intellectual dexterity - or dishonesty - to hold the two simultaneous beliefs that the "war on drugs" is one which (a) cannot be won and (b) must therefore be fought to the bitter end. A splendid example is that of Alan Yentob and John Birt. Alan Yentob, a Group B person who makes television programmes, initially seemed to support this newspaper's Free Dope campaign, but then appeared to have been nobbled by John Birt, a Group A person who writes memos.

Which of course illustrates the horrid irony of it all: that it's the Group As - the inflexible, minatory, rigid, rule-following, blue-nosed little schoolboys - who run the show, not just because they're the only ones who can muster a workable consensus, but because they're the only ones who can be bothered to run it, or care who runs it, or think that we need people to run it. And all we Group Bs have to suffer in silence, wholesome, clean and serene.

Well, pooh. Damn them. What I say is, let's have a National Weed Month, when all right-thinking Group Bs get whacked out of their gourds and stumble around, beaming and talking bollocks. The results will be startling. The Group A administrative classes will have bugger all to administer, the country will grind to a halt, and then we'll see where the balance of power lies.

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