Graham Ball was amazed to be offered cannabis in the Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster, the Mother of Parliaments, call it what you will - for my money it is the greatest place to get top-quality cannabis. Last week, to my amazement, I "scored" in the Houses of Parliament.

The circumstances surrounding this unusual transaction were as follows. I attended a press conference hosted by Dr Brian Iddon MP to launch the publication of the book Drugs and the Party Line by Kevin Williamson. After an hour, the conference ended and all present spilled out into the adjoining Westminster Hall. Here, in the most hallowed heart of Parliament, I became an outlaw.

Most of those who attended the press conference carried on discussing the issue of decriminalisation and drugs policy as we rubbed shoulders with MPs, visiting dignitaries and police officers. I had just finished a conversation with the Earl of Stafford when a person I had never met approached with an outstretched arm.

I put my hand out, anticipating an introductory handshake, but instead this stranger pressed a large clump of fibrous material into my palm. The donor had said that this was a contribution to the IoS decriminalise cannabis campaign but when I looked up, expecting further explanation, my anonymous benefactor had disappeared into the crowd.

I looked out through the glass in the great west door and saw Sir Teddy Taylor MP pass; further off in the yard I could see the former Prime Minister John Major who had just returned from the Westminster Abbey service commemorating the Queen's Golden Wedding. Whoever had given me the cannabis had penetrated some of the strictest security in Britain, demonstrating the unworkability of the current law.

Later, expert analysis revealed that the "gift" was "South African DP" of the highest quality, with a street value of about pounds 10. I have no idea how many other similar donations have been made inside the Palace of Westminster.