I do hope the party is going to make a bit of noise about this. Not because we’re all doped up beardies, you understand, but because reclassifying cannabis as a class B drug would be daft. The police have said they wouldn’t change back to policing it the way they did when it was class B, and now Gordon Brown is clinging to reclassification, desperate not to be called a ditherer, in the face of his own panel of experts’ advice.
Now, I realise that Chris Huhne is already battling away, and I wouldn’t expect anything else from him. But I do hope Nick will make something of this at PMQs, and I do hope there will be no timidity from the party out of fear of being painted as “soft on drugs”. This is a prime example of an occasion when the majority of the public agree with us, if they stop and think about it without the aid of the tabloids. Make a good argument for liberalism here, and it’s likely to stick.
We have some clear political ground here, the Tories don’t want it. New Liberal Tories they may be, but they’re still the party of moralising and “sending messages” through the law. Just like they think paying people in loveless, strained marriages £20 a week to stay in them is going to help those people’s children. Yet again, this is a Cosy Consensus issue. Make something of it.
And Cleggers? If they ask you if you ever smoked cannabis when you were younger, just say yes, for goodness sake. The public know “I think I’m entitled to a private life before politics…” means “yes” anyway. Nothing happened to all those Labour home office ministers who did exactly this, now did it?