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Simon Carr

The Sketch: I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!


Black Mamba. White Ivory. Cussons Imperial Leather.

It may not be the case forever, but only one of these items can you currently buy in the superstore. The others are exotic, unpredictable, Class A concoctions from criminal chemists, probably in based China. The things you learn in the Home Affairs committee.

It was drugs morning for the MPs. Goodness knows what Lorraine Fulbrook's on; it was like we were dreaming her. Michael Ellis had taken a big hit of Red Robe (judges can't do without it), and Nicola Blackwood was more than usually well dosed on Miaow, the feline favourite. Sounds sleepy, sharp claws.

Between them all they explained how analog drugs are made by changing molecules in an illegal high and producing something called I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!

This happens in a week and Parliament spends the next two years trying to identify it, classify it and criminalise it. By then the analog has been digitised into something completely different. 

They had in that Prof Nutt who was fired by the previous Government for saying that Ecstasy was less dangerous than riding horses. He has set up his rival committee to argue for decriminalisation of cannabis, by saying how dangerous alcohol is.

He denounces political meddling and claims to be more rational, with his 16-criteria, individually-weighted harm assessment matrix created by experts - but he offers to "work with the committee" to adjust the weighting given to the various factors (something we other experts call "political meddling").

It's a shame because what he wants has much to be said for it, and has a chance of ending the international drug wars. But as long as he continues to say that riding, like class A drugs is addictive, and that the harm that riders do to society has anything to do with heroin and alcohol - he just won't get the traction he needs.