Crispin Blunt attacks Gove over ‘hand-wringing statement of regret’ on cocaine use and calls on all leadership candidates to engage in serious debate on future drugs policy.
Crispin, MP for Reigate and co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group For Drug Policy Reform said:
“The use of drugs by Michael Gove in his younger days, whilst illegal, was wholly unexceptional. It reflected the norms of the society within which he lived and worked. Michael would have made a more impressive contribution to political debate had his statement acknowledged this. Having admitted using drugs, he should have reflected honestly on the implications of a policy which has wholly failed to deter such drug use.
"The fact is that a half century of global consensus around the war on drugs is collapsing. Serious policy makers are now engaging with the actual issues created by criminalising millions of our fellow citizens who use drugs and the creation of a criminal supply chain gifted a business worth $500billion a year. Placing this vast criminal enterprise outside the control and restrictions of state regulation and licensing has caused most of the very serious harms to society associated with drug use. The time has come for all serious politicians to engage with the debate around these issues."
"Sadly Michael - like others before him - has delivered a politically crafted and deeply unconvincing handwringing statement of regret for committing a victimless crime. The victims have largely been created by policy and the law. As a leadership candidate he should have used the opportunity of his own ‘confession’ to join a vital and urgent policy debate. I would urge him and other leadership candidates to do so as part of their pitches to the Party and it’s members instead of relying on outmoded sound bites."