Anti-abortion groups could learn a lot from the Tories’ strategy on cannabis

Irrationality is much cleaner and more fun when it’s celebrated, not hidden behind a bogus concern for facts. You don’t see the Archbishop of Canterbury commissioning a study into evidence for God

The Labour government famously sacked their advisor on drugs for advising that every scientific approach suggested cannabis was “less harmful than tobacco or alcohol.” And it served him right, because he wasn’t supposed to use science and data
The Labour government famously sacked their advisor on drugs for advising that every scientific approach suggested cannabis was “less harmful than tobacco or alcohol.” And it served him right, because he wasn’t supposed to use science and data

Isn’t it a relief that the government stood firm and didn’t allow a woman to import cannabis oil just because it eases the pain of her epileptic son? Because if they’d let her off, rather than giving Billy Caldwell a few days’ treatment in hospital because of a “medical emergency”, everyone would be doing it. Anyone who fancied a sly puff would have an epileptic child so they could import a saucer of oil from Canada. The rule of law would be in tatters.

So it’s welcome when politicians are prepared for children to scream unnecessarily in pain, as it shows they’re concerned for our health.

Sometimes those who are most resolute against any use of cannabis try to find evidence that supports their case. So they might argue: “If we allow cannabis oil to be used where it’s proven to save lives, this will lead to an increase of drug abuse across society. Because every study shows people who are alive tend to take more drugs than dead people, so this sets a dangerous precedent.”

But there are signs the anti-drugs lobby has become more sophisticated in putting its case forward, as supporters now say they won’t consider researching the actual dangers of cannabis, even when their ex-leader William Hague suggests they should.

This is so much more honest than the old method of commissioning a report then announcing the evidence can’t possibly be right, and getting Ann Widdecombe to go on the news and shout: “Cannabis is WICKED, I don’t care WHAT’S in this 5,000-page study written by the world’s leading physicians – it makes everyone who smokes it think they’re an otter and live in a stream!”

Billy Caldwell's mum welcomes UK allowing cannabis oil epileptic son

For example, the Labour government famously sacked their advisor on drugs for advising that every scientific approach suggested cannabis was “less harmful than tobacco or alcohol”. And it served him right, because he wasn’t supposed to use science and data; he was supposed to write a report that went: “I heard about a lad who had one puff and turned into an Eskimo. His mum had to build him an igloo. My mate heard it from a bloke at the checkout in Lidl.”

Because actual evidence gets in the way of making policies. Iain Duncan Smith tried to defend his government’s attitude this week by saying William Hague was wrong that the “war on drugs had been lost”, as “the number of people smoking cannabis has gone down from 10 per cent to 8.4 per cent in the last two years.”

If this is true, this does prove the current strategy is working. Because after only 80 years of government propaganda that insists a substance is lethal, and liable to make you go berserk with a pneumatic drill, and must therefore be illegal to possess in any form, the number of people taking it anyway has suddenly dropped to one twelfth of the population.

Iain Duncan Smith’s effort shows how an attempt to use facts spoils his case. He’d have been better off saying, “Look, it’s evil. EVIL, I tell you,” which is why it’s encouraging that the government is not even bothering to pretend to research the matter anymore.

The anti-abortion people could learn from this honesty. They usually claim things like “A new report from Argentina shows a 10-week-old foetus can play the flute” or “Scientists in Alaska believe most sperm can speak Spanish”. But let’s face it: they don’t actually care, because what they really think is all abortions are evil because they’re against the will of the LORD.

And that’s how they should argue it. It would be more honest if they came on Newsnight to say: “I refute Professor Harbenstein’s 35-year study into the global effects of restrictive abortion laws, because what she doesn’t point out is she’s going to burn in hell for all eternity. Right to the end of time, f**king great flames everywhere, that’s what she’s got coming. I’d like to see her write one of her reports when she’s up to her nose in molten lava.”

Irrationality is much cleaner and more fun when it’s celebrated, not hidden behind a bogus concern for facts. You don’t see the Archbishop of Canterbury commissioning a study into evidence for God and declaring: “Recent signals from satellites near the orbit of Mars are very much in line with those we’d expect from a Holy Spirit.”

There’s no rational case for allowing morphine to be legal for pain relief but not cannabis oil, so instead of trying to find one, Jeremy Hunt should say on Radio 4: “But morphine is different, because it’s not made by the DEVIL”, then talk in tongues for 10 minutes, until John Humphrys says, “Now, while the Minister maniacally dunks his head in a bucket of water, here’s Gary with the sport.”

Then we can resolve the problems of funding the Health Service by abandoning expensive X-ray equipment and cardiology units and replacing them with leeches, because regardless of what these so-called scientists say, they suck out the badness.

We can ignore the so-called evidence of Isaac Newton and his politically correct “gravity”, and accept that stuff falls over because it’s God’s will. That’s why, in the 13th century, people took more effort to hold onto things – not like now when we’re happy to drop stuff all over the place and expect the laws of motion to keep them nearby for us.

It’s more fun to be irrational. You can believe that, despite incalculable evidence to the contrary, one late winner against Tunisia means we’re going to win the World Cup.

In any case, what those in government are probably thinking when they see a child crying in pain is he doesn't need any medicine at all because there’s nothing wrong with him and he should really be sent back to work, as he’s probably lying about even being a child.

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