Home Affairs Committee - Drugs: Breaking the CycleWritten evidence submitted by Richard (DP145)

I would be happy to give evidence to the inquiry into drug usage.

I am in my late 40s and I have been a regular cannabis user for more than 25 years. I am married with children, in full-time employment, and paying a mortgage. I am not a member of any campaigning or lobbying organisation. I would not consider myself to be a “problem drug user”.

I hold the following opinions:

1.I consume more alcohol when I have no access to cannabis. This has a greater effect on my wealth, health and ability to work.

2.I have only ever been offered hard drugs when I have been buying cannabis. This seems to make the “gateway drug” philosophy self-fulfilling and is a strong argument for the decriminalisation of cannabis.

3.I have, occasionally, been sold “adulterated”’ cannabis. This has grave implications for my safe usage of the drug and could (as above) lead to the consumption of harder drugs.

4.Prohibition is proven not to work. Regulation would have many benefits but surely the simplest argument is that it might actually be effective. I was for four years a licensed retailer of alcohol and, as such, I was responsible for the safe sale of alcohol and could ensure it was not sold to minors, those about to drive, those already too drunk, etc. I could only sell alcohol during approved hours and from an approved premises, which was subject to health and safety, hygiene and trading standards laws, and could be inspected for compliance by a range of authorities. (Of course, I also paid a sales tax and excise duty on every sale.)

Please let me know if the inquiry would like me to give evidence in person.

January 2012

Prepared 8th December 2012