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Political folly, public tragedies

The Daily Mail, Editorial, 5th December 2005

Within 24 hours of the Government's surreptitious approval of a cannabis free-for-all (slipped out on a hectic news day) comes tragic evidence of its folly.

In Liverpool, the racist axe-murderer of teenager Anthony Walker pleads in mitigation that he was 'consistently under the influence of cannabis'.

In London, one of the men accused of stabbing financier John Monckton to death says he was 'desperate' for money, because he owed drug dealers £2,000.

And the Eminem impersonator who admits killing a student took a cocktail of drink and drugs.

Meanwhile, the British Medical Journal publishes research showing the influence of cannabis doubles the risk of being involved in a fatal road crash.

Just one day's news in drugs-ravaged Britain... and this as the Government gives users the green light to carry enough cannabis for 2,410 joints without fear of arrest - a dealers' charter, in all but name.

Yet hardly a day goes by without more compelling evidence linking cannabis to mental illness. The latest study, in the British Journal of Psychiatry, is another stark warning of how schizophrenia is triggered by the drug.

But this Government ignores all that, and seems insouciant over the frightening prevalence of drugs-related crime.

Instead it peddles 'liberal' solutions, presumably to ease pressure on Britain's overcrowded jails. And saddles the public with the appalling consequences.

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