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The Sick And Twisted Minds Of Peter Hitchens And Gil Kerlikowske

27 May 2013

Fusilier Lee Rigby Fusilier Lee Rigby

It takes a peculiar combination of self-interest, crass bad taste and mendacity to exploit the death of our hero, Fusilier Lee Rigby.

Step forward Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday columnist, drug war propagandist and a distant stranger to the truth about cannabis.

Similar, though less well known on this side of the Atlantic, is Gil Kerlikowske, the White House director of national drug-control policy. He is the current embodiment of US reefer madness propaganda, treading the path forged by Dr Goebbels, Fidel Castro and Vladimir Putin in distorting the truth, dissembling facts and painting black as white and evil as good.

Peter Hitchens Peter Hitchens

In yesterday's Mail on Sunday, Hitchens blamed the murder of Fusilier Rigby on Michael Adebolajo's use of cannabis following a single report that he had smoked cannabis in the past. Based on virtually no evidence at all Hitchens writes: "Adebolajo's life changed utterly when, as a teenager, he began taking drugs, especially cannabis."

Then, choosing his words carefully, he makes the meaningless statement: "Use of this drug, particularly when young, is closely correlated with irreversible mental illness." He can't suggest that cannabis causes such illness because the evidence shows that while it may be a component factor in a very small number of cases, in many more people it helps to alleviate the symptoms of mental distress.

Hitchens then makes the massive and entirely false leap of logic to "There are plenty of other young drug-users roaming our streets...many of them will become mental patients. Some will commit awful acts of unhinged violence." His crazy conclusion: "If we strengthened and enforced our drug laws much of this would be preventable."

Hitchens is unprincipled and shameless in trying to sell his books and to stir up controversy around his hatred of cannabis and cannabis users for which Paul Dacre, butcher of truth at the Mail newspapers, pays him handsomely. He is disloyal, traitorous and a disgrace to his country in diverting attention from the real reasons for Rigby's death and exploiting this tragedy for the sake of his own hobby horse.

I will say in mitigation that he is no different from the rest of the Fleet Street mafia whose 'freedom of the press' is really the freedom to lie, mislead and exploit in the pursuit of sensation, circulation and advertising revenue.

Kerlikowske has a similar agenda. Let's get his mitigation in at the beginning. He is prevented from even considering any positive aspect of cannabis use by his job description and he is mandated to do all he can to demonise, destroy and defame cannabis and cannabis users irrespective of truth or evidence.

Gil Kerlikowske Gil Kerlikowske

In a shameful perversion of science, last week he claimed that a 'study' by his office had identified cannabis as the drug 'most often linked to crime'. In fact, all he had done was look at arrest records in Sacramento, New York, Denver, Atlanta and Chicago. Over 60% of all those arrested tested positive for drug use and cannabis was the most popular drug in all cities.

Of course, to use this, as he did, to announce that the US must "acknowledge and come to grips with the link between crime and substance use" is utter nonsense. It is no more relevant than to say a majority of those arrested had brushed their teeth that morning, or had not. Or had showered within the last three days, or had not.

Hitchens and Kerlikowske are both in the business of untruth. They manipulate information, based on prejudice, hatred and self-interest to claim whatever result suits their purpose. Such individuals are a curse on our society and every bit as dangerous to it as a couple of madcap Islamist nutters, perhaps more so.