Tuesday, May 16, 2006

'I smoked cannabis,' admits drugs minister

The Daily Mail

UK - A new drugs minister has admitted smoking cannabis, it emerged today.

Vernon Coaker said he had had "one or two puffs of marijuana" while a student at Warwick University.

The Home Office minister, who was handed his new role on May 5, denied taking hard drugs.

He told the Coventry Evening Telegraph: "When I was a student, I took one or two puffs of marijuana but that was it. I think it was once or twice."

Mr Coaker told the newspaper he had not enjoyed the experience and decided not to do it again.
The MP for Gedling praised the efforts of drugs workers in Coventry during his first official visit in the role.

The minister with responsibility for drugs policy was visiting the city as part of a nine-month nationwide tour to see how the Government's Drug Strategy is affecting communities.
A Home Office spokeswoman said: "The minister briefly tried cannabis at university in the 1970s on one or two occasions.

"This is clearly a very long time ago, when he was a student. The minister has been open about his past experiences and is fully committed to taking forward the Government's drugs strategy."

A former Government whip, Mr Coaker's previous jobs include stints as parliamentary private secretary to Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell and to former Education Secretary Estelle Morris.


Blogger 800 pound gorilla said...

I find this study very interesting and while it differs from most DEA style studies in that it adheres to some scientific studies it nevertheless is something that will NOT be adopted by DEA as rationale for criminalization of marijuana. Such a "standard" would open up a Pandora's box of speculation about why other studies showing other links between drug use and other health problems don't result in criminalization.
There is one reason why the DEA has never nor ever will adopt a scientific standard for criminalization: it would shut down the pharmaceutical industry. Unfortunately, or fortunately, if you hope for legalization in the worst way, the lack of standards under current law is putting pressure on the FDA to take many widely used - and profitable - prescription and OTC medications off the legal market. Already, because of the drug war we have the highest priced and most restrictive drug market in the world. For pharmaceuticals it is a gravy train for profitability but the DEA promoting a "blame the drug for the problem" mentality, civil and criminal actions against drug companies are inevitable. A few multi million dollar lawsuits more against pharmaceuticals may result in an open clash between the pharmaceuticals and taxpayer funded drug war propaganda.

5/17/2006 04:44:00 PM  

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