Swinson: I Inhaled and I Liked It

For once a politician says they enjoyed their drug experiences. Sometimes when politicians talk about historic – and it always historic – drug experiences they make it out it was some kind of terrible ordeal. Which kind of begs the question why did they do it? In truth the reason millionaire rock stars do sex and drugs is because they like it and it is pleasurable. Drug prohibitionists never talk about the millions of people who enjoy doing drugs on the weekend and go to work on Monday without harming anyone else. The problems only come when people overdo it and become addicted.

The LibDems’ manifesto includes a commitment to legalise cannabis for personal consumption, with licensed and quality controlled supplies bringing an end to the carnage on the streets from criminal gangs fighting turf wars for the profits of a contraband commodity in high demand. Police forces have effectively already stopped prosecuting cannabis consumers, with many senior police officers more or less openly advocating legalisation. Labour are wary of supporting liberalisation because they fear it will be an attack line from the Tories. About time the Tories stopped doing drugs in private and criminalising the public for the same…

Hard Blow from Gove

Michael Gove had to try something different to give his campaign a bump with the dust still yet to settle from his torrid weekend and he certainly managed the most energetic campaign launch of all the candidates so far. The line he decided to take this time was going hard on Big B…

Gove stands out among the Tory leadership field for being able to both set out detailed policies and not be boring doing so and there was plenty that will have appealed including his social care insurance and veterans policies. Brexit is still his Achilles heel – on policy at least – and Gove saying that he would be prepared to delay Brexit “however long it takes to get a deal over the line” more or less sinks his chances of winning over Brexiteers in any significant numbers. His lines on Brexit aren’t red…

His decision to launch a range of personal attacks on Boris looks like a calculated deadcat gambit to try to shift the media narrative off his personal peccadillos onto internecine Brexiteer warfare and personality clashes, judging from the number of hits he took from journalists afterwards over it he still hasn’t managed to blow away the issue just yet. Attacking the candidate most people expect to emerge as the eventual winner is not necessarily the best way of getting wavering Tory MPs on board either…

Saj: Time to Review Scheduling of Cannabis

Sajid Javid announces review of the scheduling of cannabis, currently in the most tightly restricted category reserved for drugs that have “no currently accepted medical use”. The Home Secretary again getting his way over the PM…

Adam Spliff Institute Celebrates 420

Today, April 20, is ‘Weed Day‘. A day celebrated by stoners around the world. The neo-liberal think tank the Adam Smith Institute is staying true to its libertarian ideals by taking a leaf out of Peter Hitchens’ mocking term for them and embracing the charge that they are the “Adam Spliff Institute”. Now we know how they think the unthinkable. It is a sunny day, why not head out after work this evening into your garden and celebrate the day in a haze of mind altering smoke…

Acid Corbynism

Only one place to be at 1am in Brighton: Momentum’s “Acid Corbynism” bash:

Quiet voices in the conference hall this morning, please.

H/T Ashley Cowburn, Patrick Maguire

Osborne’s First News Line

It’s George Osborne’s first day in charge of the Evening Standard and he has been given an appropriate welcome on Derry Street, where a group of cab drivers have laid out a ‘huge line of coke’ on the road outside. A gag that’s had Standard hacks snorting into their coffees…

H/T Felicity Morse

UPDATE: George twists the knife with his first front page:

UPDATE II: Osborne’s first leader says Brexit is “an historic mistake”, derides as “unrealistic” claims Britain has a strong hand, repeats the Juncker briefing uncritically as if it is gospel, and blasts Theresa May for an “election campaign [that] amounts to no more than a slogan”. Subtle…

Magic Mushrooms Could Boost Economic Productivity

According to a Reuters report magic mushrooms could boost economic productivity and make investors money. Recent clinical trials of psilocybin mushrooms, the psychedelic fungi, show it helping mental health patients without causing significant side effects.

As well as health gains for individuals the positive ramifications for society are huge.

The cost of mental illness globally was as much as $2.5 trillion in 2010 and could more than double by 2030, reckons the World Economic Forum. Using those numbers, medical journal the Lancet has argued that investments in mental-health treatment have high returns. If $10 billion were invested every year from now until 2030, the net present value of enhanced economic productivity might be $400 billion.

Investing in psychedelic medicine could be both profitable and increase productivity. Two clinical studies of cancer patients with depression or anxiety found meaningful improvements in mood without serious adverse reactions. Laboratory work on the use of trippy pharmacology had been similarly problem-free in the 1960s. In 2005 New Labour criminalised harvesting and using naturally growing mushrooms. Maybe the prospect of boosting economic productivity might reverse that decision…

From 2005: New Labour Attacks Pagan Minorities 

See also: Food Of The Gods: A Radical History of Plants, Drugs and Human Evolution

From Poppers to Puff: Blunt on Blunts

blunt

Bongs are bubbling over at CLEAR, the UK’s largest cannabis reform group, as Crispin Blunt  joins their advisory board as political advisor. Having spoken out in the Commons on his own use of poppers, the Tory MP was perhaps a natural choice to lobby for legalisation of weed, a few days ahead of a parliamentary report being published. CLEAR is the largest drug policy reform group in the UK with more than 685,000 registered supporters.  Its aim is “to promote as a matter of urgency and compassion the prescription of medicinal cannabis by doctors”.  Far out, man…

The evidence for the use of cannabis in alleviating the effects of diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer, Crohn’s and multiple sclerosis is prolific and compelling. Crispin is getting blazed up about the issue:

“It is wrong that people with a range of conditions are missing out from medicinal benefits because of the UK’s out-of-date drug laws. We need a new approach and a sensible regulatory system…”

Let’s just hope MPs don’t make a hash of the upcoming report…

Red Red Whine

ub40

Jeremy Corbyn is appearing at a press conference with UB40 this morning, and it’s a fitting endorsement in more ways than one. The eighties reggae band are of course themselves famous for an acrimonious split. After years of costly legal wranglings and bitter battles in court, the two competing factions of UB40 continue to perform separately but under the same name. One UB40 splinter band now calls the other “Judas“, which is incidentally one of Labour general secretary Iain McNicol’s banned words for the leadership election. The Labour of Love…

The similarities don’t end there. While Corbyn motorcycled around communist East Germany, UB40 visited the Soviet Union, earning condemnation from the United States. The Labour leader shares their view of the monarchy – UB40 describe “Queen and country” as “propaganda, spin and lie”, while Jez is an avowed republican who won’t sing the national anthem. Food for thought. 

Who do UB40 hate more than anyone else? They say Tony Blair is “Uncle Sam’s poodle in need of a shrink”. Corbyn even agrees with UB40 when they say “ganja… every man got to legalise it”. Jez paraphrases: “it is now time to decriminalise possession and cultivation”. First-hand experience of splits, past flirtations with communism, costly legal battles and hatred of Blairites – UB40 are the perfect warm-up act…

Keith Vaz Told Commons He Was “Surprised” MPs Used Poppers

vaz

Look back at Keith Vaz’s interventions in the Commons debate on drugs in January. Just eight months ago, Vaz told the House of his “great surprise” at revelations MPs had used poppers:

“The shadow Minister, my hon. Friend the Member for West Ham (Lyn Brown), has said—this was a bit of shock for me after 28 years in this House—that Ministers have stood at the Dispatch Box having had poppers. I think that is what she said and it was a great surprise to the House. She obviously knows more than I do about such issues”

Lyn Brown definitely does not know more about poppers than Keith Vaz. 

Vaz, a fan of cocaine and poppers-fuelled gay sex parties, then told the House that he opposed liberalising drugs:

“I have great respect for my hon. Friend, who was a distinguished member of the Home Affairs Committee. I know that his position is to liberalise the law on drugs, but that is not my position and nor is it that of the Committee.”

He vowed to vote to ban poppers if they were proved to be harmful:

“Without equivocation, I give him a guarantee that if the review decides that poppers are harmful, I will be the first in the Division Lobby with him, supporting that view.”

The pinnacle of slippery Vaz’s shameless hypocrisy? There will be more…

White Sniffs of Dover

Dover’s Mayor, Neil Rix, has been caught on video snorting an unknown white powder off a toilet cistern. Kent’s wannabe Rob Ford claimed he’d been drugged and coerced into making the tape and blackmailed after it was produced. He amusingly says it could have been “sherbert“. Who gave him that line?

Act That Tried to Ban “Poppers” Bites

blunt-poppers

Crispin Blunt will be breathing a sigh of relief today, as figures released by the Home Office reveal the Psychoactive Substances Act stopped 332 “headshops” selling the contraband and shutdown 24 altogether, with 186 arrests. The act gained notoriety earlier this year when it was revealed that the government was to attempt a blanket ban on then “legal highs”, including popular “poppers”. This led to a memorable intervention from Crispin Blunt, saving “poppers” from the ban and a potential two years in prison simply for possession. He didn’t stop the government banning hundreds of other substances, though, flying in the face of increasingly pro-drug legislators in Ireland, Europe, and even the USA. If only they could take something to broaden their thinking…

Another U-Turn: Poppers Unbanned

Victory for Crispin Blunt as Home Office minister Karen Bradley confirms that the government no longer considers poppers a psychoactive drug:

“I understand that the Council has now advanced its understanding of the psychoactivity of the alkyl nitrites group under the Act and concluded that only substances that directly stimulate or depress the central nervous system are psychoactive under the Act. Having given due consideration, the Government agrees with your advice and interpretation of the definition. We do so in the understanding that “poppers” have these unique indirect effects. Our understanding is that this approach does not have any further implications for the operation of the Act and that other substances that the Act intends to cover are not affected.”

That sound you can hear coming from the parliamentary estate: “Wooooooooooooooo!”

Bryant’s Osborne Coke Joke

Chris Bryant has a good line. “I’m delighted that finally the Chancellor has realised the dangers of Coke…”[…] Read the rest

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Crispin Pleads for Poppers

blunt-poppersThis afternoon could see the the banning of amyl nitrate “poppers” – a psychoactive substance popular in the gay community and with clubbers. Crispin Blunt is worried about the government banning poppers and has emailed fellow MPs:

From: BLUNT, Crispin
Sent: 20 January 2016 13:06
Subject: Psychoactive Substances Bill
Importance: High

Dear all,

This afternoon there may be an amendment moved to support the Home Affairs Select Committee’s recommendation to exempt alkyl nitrates, also known as “poppers” from the Psychoactive Substances Bill.

[…] Read the rest

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Ireland To Decriminalise Drugs

ireland

Guid O’Fawkes is pleased to report that the Ireland is to decriminalise drugs for personal use. From 2016 the possession of small quantities of drugs, including heroin, cocaine, and cannabis, will no longer be a criminal offence. Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, the chief of Ireland’s National Drugs Strategy, has spoken of the need for a ‘radical cultural shift’ in how drug use is viewed. […] Read the rest

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Delingpole on Druggy Dave

James Delingpole recalls “a beautiful sunny afternoon in the summer of 1985”, where he, a young David Cameron and another James “are sitting cross-legged in an oak-panelled room high above one of Oxford’s grandest college quads stoned out of their brains on marijuana”.[…] Read the rest

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Lord Coke Won’t Face Charges

lord sewel

Developing…[…] Read the rest

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Who Squealed?

The hunt is on to find out which current Tory MP and contemporary of Dave at Oxford squealed. Guido makes no allegations about any of those listed below for information purposes only…

  • Michael Gove: He was a gossipy young wannabe journalist at the time and enjoyed a wild university experience himself.
[…] Read the rest

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#PigGate #SnoutRage: Internet Reacts

According to Lord Ashcroft and a single-source unnamed Tory MP, David Cameron placed “a private part of his anatomy” into a dead pig’s mouth during an initiation at Oxford. This is how the internet responded to the news:

[…] Read the rest

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