The Inside Story On What Could Be The Biggest Ever Shift In UK Drugs Policy

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Home Office minister Norman Baker called last week for medicinal cannabis to be legalised. This is the inside story of a campaign that began in 1999, started to gain real traction in 2011 and may finally come to fruition in 2014.

The last British politician to have the courage to follow the evidence on drugs policy and introduce radical reform was Margaret Thatcher. Now Norman Baker isn't normally in the same category as Thatcher but they have both demonstrated courage in the face of opposition from their colleagues and widespread bigotry and ignorance throughout parliament and Whitehall.

Tory cabinet members in 1986 must have been spluttering into their claret and very large whiskies when they heard that Margaret was insisting on introducing clean needle exchange for injecting drug users. She was absolutely right to do so and her action saved thousands of lives. Many other countries followed her lead and...

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