I'm pleased to see Humfrey Malins MP's paper on conservative home about a "fresh look at drugs policy".
Last year I was very humbled when invited, with David Davis, into a charitably run drug rehabilitation home Three former addicts told us their history with drugs. Each had started off stealing alcohol as a 10-14 year old, moved on to cannabis and then to "harder" drugs. All three had been “clean” for over 6 months and described the battle to get that far – but each also stated that staying off drugs is a continuous battle.
This month we read bios of each of the victims of the dreadful murders in Ipswich. This rammed home again the message that all-consuming drug addiction is not confined to poor housing estates. It can take hold of a young person from any walk of life.
I agree that a new approach must be taken to drugs policy and that cannabis is much too dangerous to be a class C drug. Residential rehab is vital – but so a long term support network once the residential part is over. Charities and voluntary workers must be supported.
From the stories that I am told across the country, I believe that we are at a tipping point in our attitude towards drugs. Unless more serious efforts are made to reduce drug addiction now, the situation will become uncontrollable.