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                                                                         News
      20 The Portugal News •  22 Jun 2019

       Brexit and Drugs                                           A drug bust can ruin your whole day, so it’s best to                    N N N N N

                                                                  have a get-out-of-jail-free card ready.
                                                                                                                                      GWYNNE DYER
                                                                                                        recreational drug use as a  surprising about the fact
                                                                                                        harmless peccadillo. In  that seven out of ten prime
                                                                                                        the trade, that’s known as  ministerial candidates
                                                                                                        working both sides of the  have done some drugs.
                                                                                                        street.                 You could hardly have
                                                                                                        So Michael Gove wins the  gone to university in the
                                                                                                        Hypocrisy Cup, but it was  70s or 80s in Britain – or
                                                                                                        a highly competitive    anywhere else in the West
                                                                                                        event. Boris Johnson,   – without sampling at least
                                                                                                        tipped to win the Brexit  a few. It doesn’t seem to
                                                                                                        succession struggle after  have done them any
                                                                                                        Theresa May’s           harm, except perhaps
                                                                                                        resignation, hasn’t said  politically.
                                                                                                        anything about drugs    The shame and the
                                                                                                        recently, but journalists  hypocrisy lie in the fact
                                                                                                        swiftly dug up a 2005   that these men and
                                                                                                        television appearance in  women belong to a
                                                                                                        which he said quite a lot.  government that routinely
                                                                                                        “I think I was once given  jails other, less privileged
                                                                                                        cocaine, but I sneezed  people who have done
                                                                                                        and so it did not go up my  exactly the same thing, or
                                                                                                        nose. In fact, I may have  at least bans them from
                                                                                                        been doing icing sugar.”  working in their chosen
                                                                                                        Vintage Boris, but a) he  profession (as Michael
                                                                                                        did think he was doing  Gove’s department did to
                                                                                                        cocaine, and b) in a 2007  teachers found to possess
                                                                                                        interview he said that he  class A drugs, even at
                                                                                                        had tried both cocaine  home, when he was
                                                                                                        and cannabis at         education secretary).
                                                                                                        university, but that they  Should we legalise all
                                                                                                        had “no pharmacological,  recreational drugs? Of
      Conservative Prime Minister candidates (L-R) Michael Gove, Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid, Dominic Raab and Rory Stewart
      Conservative Prime Minister candidates (L-R) Michael Gove, Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid, Dominic Raab and Rory Stewart  psychotropic or any other  course we should. They
      Conservative Prime Minister candidates (L-R) Michael Gove, Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid, Dominic Raab and Rory Stewart
      Conservative Prime Minister candidates (L-R) Michael Gove, Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid, Dominic Raab and Rory Stewart
      Conservative Prime Minister candidates (L-R) Michael Gove, Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid, Dominic Raab and Rory Stewart
      participating in the Britain’s Next PM #C4 Debate. (Photo: EPA/Tim Anderson)                      effect on me whatever.”  would no longer support
      participating in the Britain’s Next PM #C4 Debate. (Photo: EPA/Tim Anderson)
      participating in the Britain’s Next PM #C4 Debate. (Photo: EPA/Tim Anderson)
      participating in the Britain’s Next PM #C4 Debate. (Photo: EPA/Tim Anderson)
      participating in the Britain’s Next PM #C4 Debate. (Photo: EPA/Tim Anderson)
                                                                                                        This is known as the ‘Bill  vast criminal empires that
          n the United States  best strategy is to say that  These observations are  candidates for the  Clinton’ or “I did not  exploit their illegality, and
         being white will usually  you are planning to go  prompted by last week’s  leadership of the   inhale” ploy.           they would be less likely to
         make the police take a  into politics. (Although  scandal in the United  Conservative Party had  And then all the other  harm people if their
      Icharitable view, but in  being white helps there  Kingdom, where by      been outed as former    candidates for          quality was monitored by
      the United Kingdom the   too.)                   Saturday seven of the ten  users of illegal drugs. This  Conservative Party leader  the state. Some people
                                                                                includes all three leading  and British prime minister  would get addicted, just
                                                                                candidates for the job,  were asked the same    as with alcohol or
                                                                                Boris Johnson, Michael  question. Esther McVey  tobacco, but that’s less a
                                                                                Gove, and Jeremy Hunt,  said: “I have never taken  function of the drugs than
                                                                                one of whom will        any class A drugs [heroin  of the individual’s
                                                                                therefore almost certainly  and cocaine], but have I  vulnerability to addiction.
                                                                                become prime minister   tried some pot? Yes,    Which particular
                                                                                next month.             when I was much         substance hardly matters.
                                                                                The revelations were    younger.”               Legalisation of ‘hard’
                                                                                prompted by a just-     Andrea Leadsom,         drugs is not going to
                                                                                published biography of  Dominic Raab and Matt   happen in this generation,
                                                                                Michael Gove, currently  Hancock all said that they  because there is still too
                                                                                Environment Secretary,  had smoked cannabis at  much political mileage to
                                                                                which revealed that he  university, but had never  be gained by ‘fighting’
                                                                                had used cocaine        done ‘hard’ drugs. Jeremy  them. But here’s a
                                                                                repeatedly twenty years  Hunt was more creative,  consoling thought: the
                                                                                ago, when he was still a  admitting that “I think I had  people who will finally
                                                                                journalist. Indeed, on at  a cannabis lassi when I  decide the Conservative
                                                                                least one occasion in   went backpacking        leadership contest are the
                                                                                1999 he hosted a party at  through India.”      party’s 160,000 paid-up
                                                                                his Mayfair apartment in  Nicely done, that.  Hunt  members, who are
                                                                                London where the guests  didn’t really know it was  socially conservative,
                                                                                were openly using       cannabis, he’s been     mostly rural, and well over
                                                                                cocaine.                around a bit – and he   60 on average.
                                                                                Now he says that “It was a  dodged having to say  If anybody is going to
                                                                                mistake. Now I look back  what other drugs (if any)  punish these hypocrites,
                                                                                and think ‘I wish I hadn’t  he had done.        it’s them.
                                                                                done that’.” Although   And finally Rory Stewart,
                                                                                mentioning it quite     who explained that he
                                                                                recently to his media   went to a village wedding
                                                                                coaches in what he      in Afghanistan when he
                                                                                thought was a private   was walking around the
                                                                                training session was his  country. It would have
                                                                                real mistake.           been rude to refuse: “I
                                                                                But he deserves to suffer.  was invited into the
                                                                                On the day after that party  house, and the opium
                                                                                in 1999,  Gove wrote a  pipe was passed around.”
                                                                                column in ‘The Times’ in  And then the Bill Clinton
                                                                                which he condemned      defence: the family was so
                                                                                                                                 Gwynne Dyer is an
                                                                                                                                 Gwynne Dyer is an
                                                                                                                                 Gwynne Dyer is an
                                                                                                                                 Gwynne Dyer is an
                                                                                ‘middle-class           poor that they may have  Gwynne Dyer is an
                                                                                                                                 independent journalist
                                                                                                                                 independent journalist
                                                                                                                                 independent journalist
                                                                                                                                 independent journalist
                                                                                professionals’ and      put very little opium into  independent journalist
                                                                                                                                 whose articles are
                                                                                                                                 whose articles are
                                                                                                                                 whose articles are
                                                                                ‘London’s liberal       the pipe.                whose articles are
                                                                                                                                 whose articles are
                                                                                                                                 published in 45 countries.
                                                                                consensus’ for treating  There’s nothing         published in 45 countries..
                                                                                                                                 published in 45 countries
                                                                                                                                 published in 45 countries
                                                                                                                                 published in 45 countries..
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