I have never taken an illegal drug in my life. When I was at the influential age drugs weren't a part of the culture of rural mid-Wales, so I didn't have the chance to use drugs as a teenager / young adult. But I fell for beer and fags without much of a fight - so I would, probably, have gone for other things had they been available.
When I see people who suffer from drug addiction I don't feel holier than thou, I feel there but for the grace of God go I!
I am the father of two boys who are approaching teenage years. I hope that neither of them ever touch a presently illegal drug, but statistics suggest that my hope will not be realised. I hope against hope that they will buck the trend and live drug free lives. But, if they become part of the statistics I want them to have the safest possible experience.
The reason that the Government wants to reclassify cannabis is because the cannabis on sale now is apparently stronger than it use to be. Today's joint may be 10 x stronger than the joint of a decade ago.
Many overdose deaths are caused because users think that they are taking the same amount of a drug as usual. Apparently the purity of some drugs depends on market forces. A dose of heroin may be as high as 100% purity or as low as 10% purity, so you don't know if you are drinking a pint of whisky or a pint of beer!
If my kids do go down the drugs road, I would prefer that road to be regulated by the Government rather than the Mafia. I would prefer them to be able to read strength and cutting ingredients on the package under trading standards rules, rather than to guess strength and hope that nothing toxic has been used in the cut.
Like every Tory MP and Daily Mail reader I would like to live in a society where recreational drugs don't exist or only exist amongst the criminally insane. Unfortunately that place is now called Cloud Cuckoo Land. Drug taking is part of our current social existence. Banning drugs has failed miserably. Legalising drugs under strict licence is the only sensible way of dealing with the problem, and the only way of ensuring the safety of our children as they grow up in a drug taking world.