Today at 12:31
I have just become a supplier of illegal drugs. Given the mindset of our government I suppose this means that I might expect to feel the heavy hand of the law on my shoulder at any moment. After all, I have form.
In 2002 I was convicted of possession of cannabis, an offence under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act. My crime had been to stand outside Stockport police station and to make a speech about the need for a policy that separated ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ drugs. I held up a postage stamp with a gramme of cannabis stuck to it, was arrested, and imprisoned for all of 25 minutes. All the police officers I dealt with face to face were very polite: "it makes a change, Mr Davies."
I escaped the notional maximum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment and was fined £100. To this was added about £3,000 of extraordinary costs because my arrest had apparently required the involvement of about 18 police officers, a sergeant and an inspector – though I can't remember seeing most of them.
The sacking of David Nutt, chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, for daring to tell the scientific truth about cannabis (“unlike most other drugs and alcohol it is never lethal” – The Observer, 1 Nov), shows how little progress has been made since then. A succession of European countries have effectively decriminalised cannabis possession, but the government and opposition here are competing to demonise it once again.
None of this was in my mind when I stepped into the Amsterdam coffee shop last week and purchased a good slab of cannabis cake, wrapped it, and put it in the post to the UK.
There’s a 91-year old lady of my acquaintance who has suffered for years from discomfort and sometimes chronic pain in her legs. Nothing the doctor gives her provides sufficient relief, so maybe a nice cup of coffee and a slice of Amsterdam cake will help. It’s worth a try anyway.
And if the Director of Public Prosecutions thinks that it will be in the public interest to find an excuse for prosecuting me for trying to relieve an old lady’s pain then so be it. Make my day. I will welcome the publicity and the opportunity to speak out against Britain’s ludicrous drug laws.
Just one problem. There’s a postal strike. My 'priority' package is probably sitting in a mountainous pile of undelivered mail, never to be seen again.