Alcohol is far more deadly than cannabis

And these words were said by? ………..

Former UK minister Norman Baker in an interview with The Independent which you can read fully here.

These are my edited highlights:

Alcohol is a much greater threat to people’s health than cannabis, former Home Office minister Norman Baker has warned, saying its dangers are being underplayed.

Pointing to figures that show there were only 13 deaths related to cannabis use last year compared with more than 7,000 caused by alcohol, the Lib Dem MP says there is “hysteria” over drug use in the UK.

Mr Baker, who resigned from the Home Office after saying that the experience of working with Theresa May was like “walking through mud”, said he had been shocked to learn of the extent of Britain’s drinking culture during his year as Crime Prevention Minister.

His battles included trying to shut down a JD Wetherspoon motorway pub on the M40 which public health experts and charities say offers a “ deadly temptation” to motorway users (read the full story about this pub here) a move allegedly blocked by Number 10 and calling on shops to stop “irresponsible” alcoholic drinks promotions.  “I’m in favour of evidence-based policy, and we underplay the dangers of alcohol. Politicians need to reflect that society has changed since the 1970s, so the rhetoric should change.”

In response, Crime Prevention Minister Lynne Featherstone said: “The Government currently has no plans to legalise cannabis or to change our approach to its use as a medicine. However, the Government takes all harms caused by alcohol and drugs seriously and will keep an open mind as evidence evolves on this complex issue.”

I heard Lynne Featherstone speak at the Alcohol Concern conference in November and she left after her speech and was therefore unable to take any questions.  Pity as I’m sure there were plenty of delegates that day who would have liked to ask some tough questions about the issue of alcohol in this country ……

8 thoughts on “Alcohol is far more deadly than cannabis

  1. Lucy, this is really thought-provoking, thank you for sharing. I agree that the decision to open a Motorway Services pub was most bizarre – did they get it closed down, I must admit to being a bit out-of-date on this? Did you watch the Russell Brand doc recently? I am not a huge fan of his, and it was mainly focussed on drugs, but had some very interesting points on addiction and consequences in it.

    Have a lovely weekend.

    D xx

    1. Hey D 🙂 No the motorway service station pub is still open, J2 of the M40 if you’re ever passing! 😉 Did see the Russell Brand documentary and agree with much of what he says. You have a lovely week-end too xx

    1. I agree feeling – but it’s a pity said politician felt he had to resign which I feel shows the scale of denial in the political classes ….

      1. Ooh, I understood that differently. If you in the Netherlands publicly say something like ‘working with you is like walking trough mud’ then people assume that you can not work together and the one in the lower function will have to resign or will be fired. However, unlike the UK they will NOT be found dead folded in a suitcase in a hotel room wearing nothing but suspenders and a dogsleash. 😀 Which, to my not so humble opinion, is the favorite way of your MI6 to dispose of rogue politicians. That, or death by strangulation sex. In a hotel room. So obviously with a suitcase too. 😉
        Coming to think of it: no politician is going to be voted for if they say critical things on alcohol so it has to go real, real slow if they want to make a change. Like minimum price of alcohol and I was thinking: printing the number of units of alcohol in a bottle next to the percentage. Loads of people think there are only 4-5 glasses of wine in a bottle.

      2. Haha feeling 😀 No he’s very much alive – no auto-erotic asphyxiation yet!! 😉 Slowly slowly catchy monkey as you say ….

  2. An interesting article; it’s sad that Mr Baker was frustrated to the point of resigning over the lack of action regarding alcohol. I think it’s interesting too, because a few states in the US have legalized recreational use of marijuana, along with several state approving it for medical purposes. The argument that cannabis isn’t as dangerous as alcohol doesn’t seem valid to me. It seems to me that we here in the US are more concerned about driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, instead of the effects on the body. A pub on the motorway? Wow. xx

    1. It is interesting Lori and I’ve also been watching with interest the relaxing of laws in certain states around recreational and medicinal cannabis use. I think it’s a debate that needs to be had seeing as the war on drugs continues and yet alcohol isn’t considered one of those drugs …. xx

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