Wednesday 24 May 2017

Colette Brown: Why should teenagers become criminals for taking the odd spliff?

If Obama had been arrested and charged with drug possession all of those years ago he would never have become president
If Obama had been arrested and charged with drug possession all of those years ago he would never have become president
Colorado became the 'Amsterdam of America'.

Colette Brown

These days it's increasingly popular for politicians to admit to smoking cannabis in their youth, so why are we still criminalising young people for the same behaviour?

Last month, Barack Obama caused a stir when he said: "I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked ... I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol."

Meanwhile, in this country, even conservative types like Leo Varadkar and Brian Cowen have admitted to smoking the odd spliff when they were in college. However, despite their own dalliances with drugs in the past, politicians demonstrate breathtaking hypocrisy in insisting on the continuation of a failed policy – the blanket criminalisation of cannabis use.

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