A while ago I noted that Julian Brazier really knows next to nothing about drugs, but feels compelled to comment on them anyway.
In his latest our MP has welcomed the Bill proposed in the Queen’s Speech that promises to impose a ban on legal highs.
This, of course, is a contradiction in terms because once substances are banned, they are no longer legal.
The absurdity of the legislation is highlighted by the fact that in order to ban substances that have a psychoactive effect, the law also has to include exemptions, such as cigarettes, coffee and alcohol, all of which are psychoactive.
We know that cigarettes and alcohol are amongst the biggest killers on the planet. In his assessment of the relative dangers of various drugs, both legal and illegal, Professor David Nutt, one of the country’s foremost experts on the subject, placed alcohol at the very top of the list.
I’ve made the point before that the only reason that legal highs exist is because natural highs are illegal. Once legal highs are made illegal, people will turn to the natural highs again.
Banning substances won’t stop people taking them. By making drugs illegal we simply drive the trade into the hands of gangsters, lessening the quality and increasing the dangers of adulteration and overdose.
You also increase the risk of people coming into contact with more dangerous drugs. Gangsters do not distinguish between addictive and non-addictive drugs. Once a drug is illegal it will be the same suppliers selling both.
The least dangerous drugs on Professor Nutt’s list are the psychedelics. These include LSD and magic mushrooms. Anyone who has ever taken these drugs knows that they can have a profoundly beneficial effect on the human heart, opening us up to the awareness that all life is one.
They are particularly good at relieving the anxiety of death, and may be the key to a permanent cure for depression.
One interesting side effect is that they teach us to question the imposed restrictions that society places on our ability to think and act freely.
People who take psychedelics almost invariably become rebels.
I wonder if this is the real reason for making them illegal?