Letter: Afraid to talk about cannabis

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The Independent Online
Afraid to talk about cannabis

Sir: A university student who, with his family, is a member of our congregation, has been sent to prison for six months for dealing in marijuana. The boy bought a few grams for himself and some friends. Apart from the savagery of the sentence for such a trivial offence -an offence which is shared by half the students in our universities - it highlights once again the desperate need for the Government to discuss our society's policy towards soft drugs.

Smoking or otherwise consuming marijuana is a regular part of the life of a huge number of British people from all generations. A law which is so widely disregarded has to be questioned. With the honourable exception of the admirable Clare Short, why are our politicians so afraid to talk about it?

What purpose can possibly be served by sending our young friend to a violent - he has already been attacked once - and overcrowded prison where heroin is freely available?

The Rev NEIL DAWSON

St Paul's Knightsbridge

London SW1

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