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Cannabis Smoking Becoming Normal in the UK

Author: Skruff
Monday, April 2, 2001
Cannabis use is now so prevalent in the UK that the Army is relaxing its zero tolerance anti-drug policy towards new recruits, the Ministry of Defence announced last week. "It is a fact that drug taking is endemic in society. At the moment, if people are taking drugs, we cannot accept them," a 'senior' army source told the Daily Telegraph. The change in strategy preceded last week's arrest of all three male members of squeaky clean popsters S Club 7, who were busted by plain clothes cops for smoking a joint on a Covent Garden street. The trio's arrest, while prompting much media amusement, also drew calls for legalisation from papers including London's Standard.

"It is surely time we accepted drugs - especially cannabis - have long since ceased to be a minority perversion. That indeed, for a large part of the population they are, as Noel Gallagher once put it, as "normal as having a cup of tea", the Standard suggested. Politicians speaking to the NME last week also indicated that decriminalisation may finally be entering mainstream debate, with Labour 'Youth spokesman' Stephen Twigg criticising Labour's policy of avoiding a Royal Debate.

"Personally I think there's a case (for decriminalisation)," said Twigg. "It's crazy the way debate about this has been taboo. I would decriminalise for medical purposes straight away." His calls were backed by the Liberal Democrats youth spokesman Lembit Opik who said, "We're the only party who've said, 'Let's have a Royal Commission on cannabis.' I think it should be decriminalised. Lager does more damage on a Friday night than cannabis ever will."