So smoking dope will be legalised, but buying it won't? Right on, Mr Blunkett

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Hey man! Wow! Was it the magic mushrooms, or did the Home Secretary really just say that he was minded to let people walk around smoking dope? Amazing. I haven't been this blasted since my friend Si put the seeds of a Congolese giggleweed in his chillum and let me have first draw. Strobes, man, strobes.

Hey man! Wow! Was it the magic mushrooms, or did the Home Secretary really just say that he was minded to let people walk around smoking dope? Amazing. I haven't been this blasted since my friend Si put the seeds of a Congolese giggleweed in his chillum and let me have first draw. Strobes, man, strobes.

But that was a long time ago, back in the days when it seemed obvious that cannabis would be legalised any time now. Since then, each generation has smoked or eaten dope, and the laws against it have seemed more and more at variance with the real experiences of the British population.

And yet successive governments have clung, almost desperately, to the continued criminalisation of a quotidian act, and made quasi-criminals out of millions of us. It would send the wrong signal, they argued. Or it really did cause a lot of long-term damage, you know. And, silliest of all, it would lead on to hard drugs.

Until now. Until we are astounded and delighted at the prospect of a Home Secretary doing the sensible thing. The rest of us know that more dope and less booze would mean football fans appearing in fewer court cases, no fights at closing time, and midnight city centres full of teenagers dozing in shop doorways, giggling at silly jokes or looking for Jaffa Cakes. We should make it compulsory for pubs to offer cannabis as an alternative to alcohol. "A vodka and Red Bull, madam? Certainly. But have you considered a hash brownie instead? Fewer calories, actually." Soon you'll be able to go into the tobacconists and ask for half an ounce of Blunkett Black.

Except you won't be allowed to. Great improvement though it is, the Blunkett proposal means that you can have your dope, but you can't get it. Or, rather, no one can give it to you legally, so you'll still have to hook up to your friendly dealer, who also just happens to have in his pockets some other, slightly stronger substances. The fuzz can't bust you for possession, but man, they can surely send your source to the slammer. There will be no cannabis cafes, like in Amsterdam. As Hamlet nearly said, the joint is still out of time.

Don't worry, all you heads. This sudden crack in the official carapace will soon widen. When the world fails to end with this liberalisation, and when the police (as they will) begin to tolerate the sale of cannabis in certain coffee shops in South London, the law will change again – and more radically.

Which will allow us in the West to encourage the new Afghan regime (when we've helped to set it up) to corner the world market in the production of that same Kabul Gold that renders the mid- Seventies such an agreeable (if occasionally vague) memory. Right on!

Comments