Home Affairs Committee - Drugs: Breaking the CycleWritten evidence submitted by Jamie Barnard (DP011)

Didn’t know how to start writing this so I thought I’d start with the obvious fact that I am indeed a “stoner”. I am a well educated young man who doesn’t find any harm in having a spliff now and again. I don’t take any other substance (apart from an occasional drink which is a rarity). I find that I am criminalised, and a victim of discrimination for the simple fact that I like to do something that in all fairness is harmless to my body. The biggest experiment has already been done to prove that I am ok smoking this plant and that experiment consists of millions of people, this so called “drug” and the fact that were still smoking it. An illegal drug should be defined as a substance that is made for recreational purposes that can kill, severely damage or has unknown effects to someone’s body, I don’t drink due to how I feel when I am intoxicated, I feel dehydrated, sick, dopey and it can make you vulnerable, I have never felt a more intense feeling than being really drunk, and I can smoke a lot of weed. So my point is how can alcohol be a legal product that is provided widely and is a socially acceptable substance to take, but weed isn’t? It doesn’t make sense, I know many important people who smoke it, I’ve know lecturers, chief executives and many others who smoke it. I smoke it and I’m telling you that I will never stop, not because I am addicted because I find that absurd, I won’t stop because there is no need to stop, it’s just like someone coming home from work and having a whisky and even that is worse. In all honesty I think it’s good for me, helps me relax when I’m stressed (I don’t think stress is good for you), helps me focus, helps me sleep because sometimes I find it very difficult to sleep and finally makes me feel good, not in a “oh my god I’m of my face” good (ok maybe sometimes) but more of a clear feeling that doesn’t feel like a drug, I’ll never feel sick or different just feel like me. I know this email is short and doesn’t go into detail about why I would find prohibition a better approach to dealing with thugs and violent criminals because that’s what dealers are, they don’t care who they sell to its just money. These people give cannabis and its users a bad reputation. So yeah just my personal reasons to suggest that cannabis isn’t that bad.

Thank you for reading this.

December 2011

Prepared 8th December 2012