Home Affairs Committee - Drugs: Breaking the CycleWritten evidence submitted by Andrew Preston (DP045)

I have smoked cannabis for more than 18 years, my personal experience of this substance does not match the way it is portrayed by government agencies.

I have found cannabis to be a most effective way to gain a level and balanced outlook, it has not proved to be a gateway to harder drugs, caused psychosis or led to a life of apathy.

I think the prohibition or “war on drugs” polices pursued by this government and its predecessors are cruel, illogical, irrational and a massive waste of money.

They have not reduced drug use in any way, indeed they create exactly the right conditions for a black market to form where criminals have a free reign to make huge profits.

It would be better if cannabis (and other drugs) were legalised and regulated, as in several American states and some European countries.

I am a member of clear the cannabis law reform party and support its ideas regarding regulation, which are there to be viewed on the website by anyone interested.

We have a clear choice, ideology and political convenience or fiscally responsible polices and strategies grounded in science, health, security and human rights.

Summary

1. I have 18 years personal experience of using cannabis, my views are based primarily on this experience.

2. The main reasons put forward for the justification of the prohibition on cannabis, ie it makes you mad, causes socially undesirable personality traits, leads to harder drugs so it must be banned, are not based on scientific evidence. even if those opinions were true prohibition still wouldn’t be an effective way of dealing with those problems. There is no evidence either that prohibition protects children from drugs as drug dealers don’t seem to require any proof of age only £10 notes!

3. Prohibition itself creates exactly the right conditions for a black market to form with massive profits available for criminals to exploit.

4. The very illegality of drugs makes any health issues that may arise difficult to address because of the fear of persecution from the the law for users.

5. Cannabis as been decriminalised in other jurisdictions, sometimes for many years, with positive results.

6. I Support clear the cannabis law reform party and its ideas regarding regulation, they can be viewed at the clear website.

7. Prohibition does not work, it never did and it never will, it causes corruption, criminality, disrespect for the law and worst of all it destroys lives. There must be a better way! the choice is clear.

January 2012

Prepared 8th December 2012