cannabisnews.com: Dope-Dabbling Prince Seen as Just a Normal Kid





Dope-Dabbling Prince Seen as Just a Normal Kid
Posted by FoM on January 15, 2002 at 07:58:51 PT
By Ed Cropley
Source: Reuters
Prince Harry's drink and drug exploits have brought fresh scandal to Britain's royal family, but have also shown he is just a typical teenager coming to terms with the temptations of everyday life.  The 17-year old prince hit the front pages today after weekend revelations he had told his father, heir-to-throne Prince Charles, he smoked cannabis several times last year.
Sports-mad Harry, who was sent for a day to visit a tough drug rehabilitation clinic in south London, also confessed to binge drinking with his circle of wealthy, fast-living friends.But the rich and famous are not the only young Britons to succumb to the lure of drink and drugs.Despite having one of the harshest set of anti-drug laws in Europe, Britain tops European tables in problem and casual drug users, according to figures from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).Some 35 percent of British schoolchildren aged 15 and 16 have dabbled with dope  compared with eight percent in Sweden  EMCDDA's 2001 report said, although Europe compared favorably to the United States, where over 40 percent of such teenagers had experimented with cannabis."Unfortunately, drug and alcohol use among teenagers is normal behavior today," Peter Martin, chief executive of drug and alcohol treatment group Addaction, told ITV news.Outlawed in the 1920s, when austere Victorian values still reigned supreme in Britain, dope became the widespread drug of choice for undergraduates and rockers alike in the heady days of the Swinging Sixties.Former President Clinton confessed to smoking pot during his time at Oxford University  although famously said he didn't inhale.Stars such as Rolling Stones stars Mick Jagger and Keith Richards fell foul of lingering conservative attitudes within the establishment and were prosecuted.But with graduates of the "flower power" generation now holding the reins of power, official opposition to soft drugs seems to be waning  to the concern of doctors."Cannabis is less dangerous than nicotine although it is still a major drug. But with police and government encouragement, people now believe it's no longer a big deal," said Robert Lefever, director of British drug treatment clinic Promis.  A Softening Government Anti-Drug Stance  One sign of a softening of the government's stance came last October when Home Secretary (interior minister) David Blunkett said he wanted to make possessing cannabis a non-arrestable offence and allow its use for medical purposes.The proposals, which would be unlikely to come into effect before the summer at the earliest, would leave Britain well short of the traditionally liberal Netherlands, where cannabis is openly sold and smoked in licensed coffee shops.However, "tolerance zones" in areas such as south London, where police already turn a blind eye to small quantities of cannabis, suggest Britain is already moving closer to the rest of Europe and Canada and Australia on the thorny issue.Police back the move, hoping it will give them more time to tackle hard drugs such as heroin and crack cocaine.But some senior officers have even started to think the unthinkable  and call for the legalization of all drugs."I will be astounded if we have the same drug laws that we have now in 10 or 20 years time," Richard Brunstrom, chief constable for North Wales, said recently."The existing policy is not succeeding in its aim of constraining the use of drugs and that is causing very serious harm to our society," Brunstrom said. Complete Title: One in a Million: Dope-Dabbling Prince Seen as Just a Normal KidSource: ReutersAuthor: Ed Cropley Published: January 14, 2002Copyright: 2002 Reuters UnlimitedRelated Articles:Parental Problems and Cannabis Lawhttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread11756.shtmlFor One Young Royal, an Early Whiff of Scandal http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread11752.shtmlDutch Model for UK Drug Laws http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread11624.shtml 
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on January 15, 2002 at 17:47:19 PT
Just a Note
At 9 pm et Larry King Live will be talking about Prince Harry's Cannabis issue. Just passing it on! It might be quite interesting!
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Comment #1 posted by CorvallisEric on January 15, 2002 at 16:08:14 PT
a different rehab'er
OK, I know the groans this quote may inspire:
... official opposition to soft drugs seems to be waning  to the concern of doctors.
"Cannabis is less dangerous than nicotine although it is still a major drug. But with police and government encouragement, people now believe it's no longer a big deal," said Robert Lefever, director of British drug treatment clinic Promis.
Actually, Dr. Robert Lefever is the founder of Promis. It's now run by his son Robin. Of all rehab people, I find these two among the most interesting and thoughtful.
New Scientist story on Robin's life:
Lefever, who now runs the Promis Recovery Centre, a rehabilitation service near Canterbury, Kent that was set up by his father 11 years ago, says people come to the centre all the time to be treated for cannabis dependence. It is rarely their only addiction, and of all the drug dependences he sees it represents the smallest proportion. But that is partly because public funding is reserved for those whose dependences are conventionally regarded as more serious. Besides, very few addicts are dependent on a single substance or behaviour - which supports his argument that the problem lies in the person, not the substance.
http://www.newscientist.com/hottopics/marijuana/addict.jsp
Dr. Robert Lefever "Cannabis - friend or foe?"
http://www.channelhealth.tv/subsections.asp?sid=6&id=59&article=624
Interesting sidelight on Dr. Robert's life:
The accusation of moral carelessness or frivolity [concerning the libertarian view of drugs] is especially
galling in light of the fact that Dr. Robert Lefever, who is a Libertarian Alliance Advisory Council member, devotes a considerable amount of his time to the treatment of addicts. He is also currently trying to establish a private centre for such treatment. [written in 1985, don't know anything about his current politics]
http://www.capital.demon.co.uk/LA/pamphlets/ill-drug.txt
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