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Warped thinking on cannabis legalisation

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Four men had to be rescued last weekend from England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, after becoming “incapable of walking due to cannabis use”. Said Cumbria police: “Words fail us.”

Well, yes. Does everyone agree that these men placed an irresponsible burden on a public service? Apparently so. Does everyone agree that the use of cannabis should be discouraged to reduce its irresponsible burden on society? Well, no; quite the opposite.

For free-marketeers, this evidence of devastating harm to individuals and society is irrelevant. Nothing can be allowed to dent their dogmatic belief that all human life is a transaction, market forces are a religion and the rights of the consumer are sacrosanct. Says the Adam Smith Institute about cannabis legalisation: “The object isn’t harm elimination, it’s not even harm reduction alone, it’s utility maximisation.” In other words, they want as many people as possible to be puffing on those spliffs.

To read my entire Times column (£) please click here.

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