As Gordon Brown apparently prepares to ignore his own expert advisers and side with the tabloids in rehashing our cannabis laws, he has well and truly jumped aboard the skunk-panic bandwagon - declaring on GMTV this morning that it is 'lethal'.
On the Comment is Free blog someone has posted some historical reefer madness quotes under an excellent piece from Paul Corry from the mental health charity Rethink. Here they are for your reading pleasure, with Gordon Brown's earning his place and now joining them at at the end.
(Now just to restate, whilst the majority of users do not experience problems with cannabis, its use has risks and no one is claiming it is harmless or that some users have not been harmed by it. However, emotive anecdotes and tabloid journal trawls for scarey sounding epedemiologocal data that can form the basis of a shock headline or soundbite, cannot be the basis of sound public health policy making, as it would seem, we are about to learn. Again.)
Alex Wodak describes politicians use of drug policy as 'poltical viagra'. Gordon, you're a stud...
". . . The dope begins its DEADLY WORK of arousing SEXUAL PASSIONS . . . with no restraint as to COLOR or RACE!"
Rev. Robert James Devine, 'Assassin of Youth: Marihuana' 1943
"marihuana leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing!"
Federal Bureau of Narcotics Chief Harry J. Anslinger1948
"A California man decapitated his best friend while under the violent spell of the smoke!"
Newsweek August 14, 1937
"Under [MARIHUANA'S] influence, prison inmates fall desperately in love with each other, just as they would with women outside prison walls!"
Earle Albert Rowell & Robert Rowell, 'On the Trail of Marihuana the Weed of Madness', 1939
"reefer makes darkies think they're as good as white men."
Harry J. Anslinger, 1929
"Was it marijuana, the new Mexican drug, that nerved the murderous arm of Clara Phillips when she hammered out her victim's life in Los Angeles? . . . three-forth's of the crimes of violence in this country today are committed by dope slaves - that is a matter of cold record."
Annie Laurie's column, Hearst newspapers nationwide, date unknown
"Permanent brain damage is one of the inevitable results of the use of marijuana."
Ronald Reagan, 1974
"Marijuana leads to homosexuality . . . and therefore to AIDS."
White House Drug Czar Carlton Turner, 1986
"Marijuana is ten times more dangerous than twenty years ago."
Presidential Candidate Bill Clinton, 1992
"The shift to Class C - which meant most users faced a simple ticking off if caught - has coincided with an explosion in drug crime and several brutal cannabis-related murders."
The Daily Mail, 29th April 2008
"Cannabis 'is making teenagers impotent', say doctors"
The Daily Mail, 28th April 2008
"(But) I think people know my view about cannabis and particularly about this lethal version of it, skunk."
Gordon Brown, GMTV, Tuesday 29 April
Thanks to http://www.reefermadnesslondon.com/