Hypocrisy Week – David Cameron

By Dave Underbridge

The US has made great strides in recent decades, from a Reefer Madness-inspired World Policeman torching foreign marijuana fields from the air; to a nation of home-growers and medicinal users – even allowing recreational use in a couple of states.

UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, has smoked cannabis in the past and used to support reforming Britain's drug laws.

David Cameron was caught smoking cannabis at Eton and supported reforming Britain’s drug laws before he became leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister.

In 1982, David Cameron (aged 15) was suspended from Eton for smoking cannabis. Fortunately, he wasn’t selling it to his chums, or he’d have been expelled. And then where would the Tory party be today?

Questioned in 2005 about his past cannabis use, Cameron said: “Shutup shutup shutup,” “A politician’s private life is private,” “we are all human … we err and stray,” “I am not issuing a denial,” and eventually “I did a lot of things … which I shouldn’t have. We all did.” [We Conservatives? We Etonians? Who is ‘we’? I think we the public deserve to be told…]

Last year, refusing the Home Affairs Select Committee’s recommendation that a Royal Commission be set up to look into decriminalisation, Cameron said “Cannabis is the gateway to greater drug use and its legalisation will open the door to making drug-taking socially acceptable.” I think we all recognise the ‘gateway’ argument for the weasel-poop that it is. And of course, legalising cannabis will only make cannabis more socially acceptable, not all drug-taking! To argue otherwise would be to say that tobacco being legal opens the door to making cannabis socially acceptable, or to claim that we need an arbitrary ‘buffer zone’ of safe-but-illegal drugs to separate our dangerous illegal drugs from ‘safe’ legal ones…

Cameron’s personal use of cannabis was, of course, recreational. Shouldn’t he be as aware as we are that ‘gateway’ is not a valid argument? Or does he spend every night slumped on the toilet with a needle hanging out of his arm, cursing the day three decades ago when he allegedly smoked cannabis?

On the plus side, he also said he had an open mind on medical use. And Sativex is now licensed, which is a good first step. But there are many medical conditions where sufferers claim that cannabis helps them, beyond those covered by a Sativex prescription. These people also have a legitimate – and urgent – need for access to cannabis, whether by way of prescription, purchase, or home-growing. We’ve been busy scouring the biodiversity of the rainforest for medicinally-useful organisms when there’s a perfectly good universal (or at least broad-spectrum) panacea sat right under our noses, if only the law allowed the necessary research. Millions of people self-medicate with cannabis for a wide variety of conditions; they can’t all be wrong!

"I experimented a time or two with marijuana ... I didn't inhale" - Bill Clinton 1992. "I did ... that was the point." Barak Obama, 2008.

President Clinton and President Obama have admitted to smoking cannabis in the past.

If the US can change its mind about The Evil Weed, it’s time for Cameron to notice that the 90s – when politicians had to lie about their youthful pot smoking to get votes – are long gone; we’re in an era where even the President of the Free World can be open and honest about his past use of an herb.

If indeed we can at last talk about cannabis, and begin to accept that it may have valid medical use, Cameron could redeem his hypocrisy in two ways: Firstly, he should listen to his own Select Committee. Secondly, he should fund research at an accelerated rate; because, despite provisions for medical use in the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, cannabis’ international status under this Convention as an illegal narcotic – a status based in politics, not in science – has been an effective bar to research for too long.

Hopefully, David Cameron will take note of the Cannabis Hypocrisy Protest that is being organised by NORML UK to be held in London near Parliament on Wednesday 9th October.


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  1. If there is such a thing as a “gate-way” to other drugs, then those who smoke dope (or use any other drug for that matter), have already passed through it! Their curiosity is the “gate-way”!

    • Normally the only gateway with cannabis is dealers mixed with the curiosity. Other drugs become easier to obtain while searching for sources of cannabis; It’s a twisted system.

  2. Clearly Cameron is as corrupt as they come, helping or supports the cartels and Street Dealers too. And lastly, (If you google it) he had a son who past-away do to a illness where cannabis/cannabis oil would of helped the child. And I think he is PUNISHING the British Public and the ill because of his loss. The man is a LIER, 2-FACED, the only PM who removed “GREAT” from Great Britain.. Great work NORM-UK

  3. Having worked as a drug and alcohol counsellor, and been involved in a number of research projects into the ‘gateway drug’ theory, I can state two things categorically and with great certainty:
    1 The ‘gateway drug theory is just that, a theory. Real-life evidence that use of ONE drug makes use of others more likely is extremely ambivalent, and
    2 By a MASSIVE margin, the most common drug first experimented with by hard drug users (chronic cocaine users and heroin addicts) is tobacco. The second most common (by far), is alcohol.
    So IF (and its a big ‘if’) there IS any basis to the ‘gateway’ theory, the evidence is quite clear that the main’gateway’ drug is tobacco, with alcohol possibly acting as a second ‘gateway’.
    Of course heroin addicts are statistically more likely than the general population to have tried cannabis. But then they’re also FAR more likely than the general population to be tobacco smokers (about 90-95%, as opposed to about 20% of the non-addicted population). There’s certainly no real evidence of a CAUSAL link.
    Its a classic logical fallacy – “almost all heroin users have smoked cannabis, therefore canabis causes heoin use” is about as scientifically valid a statement as saying that “almost all cats kill mice, therefore killing a mouse will turn you into a cat”.
    The VAST majority of cannabis users DO NOT go on to experiment with heroin – otherwise the number of heroin addicts in the Uk would be roughly equal to the number of people that have tried cannabis – and since most reliable estimates show hat more than 505 of the population have tried cannabis before they turn 20, you would expect about 50% of the adult population to be heroin users – or about 20 million people, as opposed to the actual number, which is about 300,000. This indicates that only about 1 person out of every 60 that experiments with cannabis goes on to use heroin, or about 1.6%, as opposed to alcohol, where statistically the number of people that experiment with it that go on to develop alcoholism is about 10%.
    (all figures quoted are from the governents OWN sources, by the way).
    In case anyone reading this is thinking ‘you can prove anything with statistics’, then i suggest you look at some non-statistical, real world examples. The only 4 countries in europe to have decriminalised cannabis are Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Holland. There are also only four countries in europe that have experienced a FALL in the rate of heroin use in the last 10 years (every other european country has experienced a rise, often a substantial one). Guess which four they are…..

  4. Great post!!
    Alcohol and tobacco are the most dangerous and lethal legalized drugs!!

    GREAT BRITAIN, Ukraine supports you in such unthankful deeds!

  5. A good article, apart from one (potentially tongue in cheek) statement which doesn’t do the cannabis movement any favours. “Millions of people self-medicate with cannabis for a wide variety of conditions; they can’t all be wrong!”. It’s a weak argument that could be jumped on. A belief doesn’t become a fact just because an arbitrary number of people think that way. Otherwise the millions of people who insist the world is 5000 years old may have a point 😉

    • I take your point, and have to admit to a slight tongue-in-cheekiness. But what I was really implying was “You can’t call *any* of these patients wrong”!

      I stand by my words “… people [who] self-medicate with cannabis … can’t all be wrong”.
      But I’m not claiming that these people are ‘right’ because of sheer numbers; it’s because ultimately almost all of us have chosen to self-medicate on the very subjective grounds that “it makes me feel better”, and no one can justifiably say “No, you’re wrong, it doesn’t.”
      Most patients – and many doctors – consider ‘feeling better’ to be, medically speaking, a Good Thing.
      Usually, cannabis does a better job of making these patients feel better than their prescription drugs do; it’s hard to argue that this is ‘wrong’ in a medicine… 🙂

      It’s another matter if I and a million others were to say “The Earth is 5000 years old”; here we’re talking about objective matters, happening outside our own heads. As you point out, ‘widely-believed’ doesn’t equal ‘true’, and any palaeontologist can provide evidence that we’re wrong.


  7. We should not forget that often when we speak about cannabis use in Britain we a referring to the smoking of a mixture of cannabis and tobacco. Cannabis if not smoked but used as an extract is not harmful or addictive. Smoking makes it more harmful and mixing it with tobacco makes it very harmful and addictive. My point is some of the dangers and problems (health issues and addiction) associated with cannabis use are actually valid but only because of the way it is used. Regulation could provide an environment where people could be persuaded to use cannabis in less harmful ways. Also providing a social context (as we have with alcohol) will lead to healthier patterns of usage as well. If alcohol were illegal it would be ridiculously dangerous (it is a poison after all) because of poor quality control in it’s production and counterfeit products. These health problems were the unseen reason for the repeal of American prohibition in the 1930s but non one ever mentions it because they don’t want to face just how harmful alcohol is.

    • “Smoking makes it more harmful and mixing it with tobacco makes it very harmful and addictive” I would agree with some of that sentence but not the end of it yes smoking cannabis is likely harmful but mixing it with a toxic substance does not magically make the cannabis addictive, sorry but by making such an assertion you place yourself in the pro prohibition camp. Cannabis is not addictive in any form but if your going to mix it with tobacco then its the tobacco you become addicted to not the cannabis. That said i like the taste of the smoke its just so expensive for good quality weed that mixing it with somthing is the only viable option a gram of good dry bud is only 2 spliffs for me (I don’t use much tobacco) but if i use the budbomb instead ill go through that gram faster. If it was legal and easily found in high quality Id probably stop smoking tobacco completely.

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