Who can forget Charles Walker, the idiotic and irresponsible Tory MP who said back in June that cocaine is safer for kids than cannabis?
Well he's at it again with two rather pointed, written parliamentary questions, doing all he can to demonise, sensationalise and provoke fear and consternation about the LETHAL SKUNK CANNABIS! (Give him another large scotch before he loses control!)
To be fair to Charles (who another MP told me recently is a nice, sensible chap except when he goes off on his reefer madness), he has got the wicked witch Mary Brett behind him with a sharp stick and her sham charity Cannabis Skunk Sense. Mary has some sort of control (?) over Charles and regularly leads him up the garden path with her cod science and distorted evidence. I think they're both married (to other people) so perhaps I should say no more about it.
Forgive me, am I being disrespectful? It's just that both Charles and Mary turn me into some sort of Daily Mail-type hack and I have a pathological need to get down in the gutter and write as much drivel and dishonesty as I can.
So here are the questions and the (I hope ) helpful answers that I have emailed to Charles
Question 1 (click for full details)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment her Department has made of the classification of (a) cannabisand (b) high THC cannabis; and if she will make a statement.
(hot tip - Charles wants cannabis upgraded to class A+)
My answer: Mr Walker should read the CLEAR plan for regulation which sets out a fully costed proposal for a cannabis inspectorate including nationwide laboratory testing facilities all paid for by a cannabis tax. This is the only practical way to assess the cannabinoid content of cannabis and regulate it for the protection of public health.
Question 2 (click for full details)
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research projects his Department is sponsoring into any relationship between high THC cannabis and psychosis; and if he will make a statement.
(hot tip - Charles wants cannabis to cause psychosis whatever the scientists say)
My answer: A measured and reasonable response from Ms Milton who refuses to be pushed along the path that Charles Walker wants to go towards reefer madness.
There is no causative link between cannabis and psychosis only an increase in risk (hardly surprising for a psychoactive substance). However, the risk as measured by Hickman et al 2009 is at worst 0.013% and probably less than 0.003%. Therefore the risk is far, far less than from the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, energy drinks, many OTC and POM medicines.
Mr Walker's intent may be honourable but he has the sham charity Cannabis Skunk Sense pushing him and using its usual mix of distorted and out of date scientific research combined with hysterical moralising.
Mr Walker needs to face up to the reality that the only real way to protect children is a regulated system that takes this £6 billion market out of the hands of criminals. Instead of this present hopeless policy of "just say no" we need to start taking responsibilty.