In another prison a few years later, when a principal officer inquired what it would take to cure my 'behavioural problem', I suggested a pound deal of Paki-black. He remembered that he had such a sample in his top drawer (from a quantity that a drug dealer had lost and a prison officer had found), and he gave me this.
In yet another prison, in 1989, I was fined pounds 5 by the governor (for possession of a 'controlled drug' ie, cannabis) and the governor stated: 'If you've got a drug problem, I suggest you see the doctor]'
The prison authorities have a drug problem; I do not.
My empirical research, carried out in three long-term establishments, shows that 85 per cent of the population are drug users. This in itself is not a problem. The real menace is that drug dealers control the supply of cannabis.
I believe that had cannabis been legally available 14 years ago, its calming effect would have soothed away the build-up of anger, frustration and depression which proved a fatal combination. It is arguable that by legalising cannabis the prison authorities would regain the loss of control they are now experiencing.
HM Garth Prison
Leyland, LancashireReuse content