A Response to Peter Hitchens: The Face of Cognitive Fascism

In the recent Google+ debate on ‘the war on drugs’ a right-wing tabloid writer named Peter Hitchens made some ill-received comments about drug-users, their supposed immorality, and their role in maintaining the ‘social problem’ of drug-use. Here’s a video:


Peter Hitchens makes a few claims, let’s discuss.

“Taking drugs is morally wrong”

It is unclear upon what grounds Hitchens makes this claim, but lets explore the potential reasons.

If taking drugs is unethical because they harm the individual user – is drinking alcohol morally wrong? Since many of the currently banned drugs are shown to be safer than alcohol, Hitchens would have to agree that moderate use of LSD, MDMA or Magic Mushrooms is ‘more ethical’ than abusing alcohol. Moreover, aren’t the risks to individuals only heightened by criminalising these substances- and therefore isn’t such a policy itself unethical?

Further, if risky behaviours are equivalent to immoral ones: Hitchens would need to explain why activities like mountain climbing or horse-riding are morally OK, without referring to an obvious double-standard. (I’d like to see him try)

Perhaps Hitchens is referring to the global costs of drugs like Cocaine and Heroin: the international conflicts that result from the demand for these drugs are surely responsible for many deaths. But isn’t the real cause for these tragedies that the demand exists within a framework of attempted prohibition? One need only look at attempts to prohibit alcohol for clear evidence that the easiest remedy to this problem is to end the war on drugs and to integrate drug-use safely into society.

If Hitchens is concerned with international conflicts- what about all those drugs for which this is not an issue? Cognitive Liberty UK is primarily concerned with psychedelics: a single lab can produce enough LSD for the entire world, magic mushrooms grow in the wild across the globe. Even in rainy old climate of England people could grow their own cannabis, if only they were allowed.

Then there’s the possibility that drug-taking is immoral because it is somehow fundamentally selfish or self-centered. Hitchen’s seems to allude to this point in the above video – but wait a minute! Surely a great deal of human behaviour is fundamentally selfish, why is Hitchen’s so hung up on drug use? Once we take away all our “selfish” behaviour, we’re pretty much all sat in monasteries doing very little with the Zen-monks. I wonder if Peter Hitchens ever does anything with his own self-interest at heart? Is Peter Hitchens so selfless and enlightened that he is in a position to ‘cast the first stone’ against others? At the very least, if he hopes for a nation of selfless individuals, he is surely being a little overly idealistic.

Psychedelics, once again, have been left out of the equation. Those who have used LSD and Magic Mushrooms often report that they are ego-dissolving drugs, which give them a greater sense of interconnectedness to society and the wider world. They are often filled with experiences of love, both earthly and divine. A recent study suggests that psychedelics can cause lasting positive personality claims: other research shows a host of applications in the world of psychotherapy.

In short: many people use psychedelics as a part of their spiritual lives, and many seem to be more loving and more moral because of it. How then is it a purely selfish and immoral activity?

Psychedelics stand apart from so many other drugs which cause addiction and all the associated misery of addiction in fact science shows us that LSD can be used to treat alcoholism.

If taking drugs to improve our conditions is immoral, then does Hitchens also think that the drugs currently used to treat mental health conditions are “evils” also? People take them out of self-interest, and many of them pose risks far greater than some of the psychedelics.

“Taking drugs muddles the brain”

Again with the alcohol! has Hitchens ever had a drink? Was this morally wrong? Alcohol is generally seen as “brain-muddling’.

If Hitchens would only care to look at the evidence he would find that psychedelic drugs have the potential to enhance the brain, to improve the human condition, to inspire creativity and to promote spiritual, religious and moral sentiment.

He complains about drugs sedating the minds of the population: but 1960s/70s America showed that psychedelic drugs fueled the revolutionary political fires of the era. If Hitchens has an argument here, it cannot be applied to LSD.

“If the law is the only thing that deters [one] from taking drugs, it needs to be maintained.”

Drug laws are not deterring any one. The only way to win the war is to create a brutal police state, even then people would still take the legal-risks needed to expand their consciousness.

NB. Hitchen’s argues that the war on drugs is “a war not fought” – tell that to the hundreds of thousands of people who have had their lives ruined by prison and their careers ruined by the criminal records bureau.

Peter Hitchens, earlier in the debate, argues the following:


What we see here is the age-old debate between free-will and determinism in new clothes. It’s age-old, by the way, because there really isn’t an easy solution to it – no matter how much Hitchens pretends that there is.

If individual responsibility is the only factor in drug use, and environmental factors have no influence: how can Hitchen’s account for the numerous socio-economic correlates to drug use? Surely he can’t deny that education is an important factor in influencing behaviour and life-choices? His very profession, as a tabloid-journalist, is an attempt to influence (determine) the actions, beliefs, and attitudes of others.

The fact is, Hitchens is where he is precisely because he is stuck on simplistic, emotive, narratives of blame and judgement: he is a columnist for a right-wing tabloid newspaper. Such reductionist, anger-fueled, judgemental spiel is how he helps his “hate-rag” to sell copies. It’s not about rational argument, it’s about clinging to his preferred moral ideals and disregarding the actual consequences of their application.

Peter Hitchens fails to see the war on drugs as a civil-liberty issue: the idea of cognitive liberty is wholly lost on him. I put it to you that Peter Hitchens has no concern for the freedoms of the individual: he is a fascist, pure and simple. But the people of Britain and the world are starting to wake up: people are starting to recognise that a small minority of individuals are telling them what they can and cannot do with their own bodies and minds, and they’re starting to get pretty angry about it! The chains of anti-psychedelic propaganda are being shaken off by the self-proving power of the psychedelic experience itself.

There’s a war going on Peter, and our side is not going to lose.

 

17 comments
  1. Peter Hitchens said:

    Great stuff. Thanks for allowing a wider audience to see it. You are right to say that I did answer the fundamental question about why drug-taking is morally wrong in the first clip. Just listen to what I say, once you have got your personal loathing for me under control. The answers to the wearisome diversion of ‘what about alcohol and tobacco?’ (basically that I am in favour of making cigarettes illegal, eventually, though it is not yet practical, and that I favour the tightest conceivable alcohol licensing laws, but don’t believe it practical to make alcohol illegal in a society in which it has been legal and very widely used for many centuries) are given at length at my blog (‘Peter Hitchens blog’ will find it on any search engine), which is indexed and contains many entries on this subject, mainly under ‘cannabis’ and ‘drugs’. Those who raise this query are not usually interested in any answer to it, since in truth they couldn’t care less about alcohol or tobacco, and only bring the matter up to muddy the waters. But for anyone who actually is interested, I have many times dealt with it, consistently, factually and thoughtfully.

    • cognitivelibertyuk said:

      Thanks for responding Peter,

      I do agree with you that criminalising alcohol would be impractical, if it were a new drug- it would probably be added to list of controlled substances. Hasn’t it reached the point though, that cannabis is so ingrained in our culture that removing it would require morally problematic measures? (i.e.mass incarceration/ a police state)

      I also agree with you that comparing alcohol and other recreational drugs is not so clear cut when it comes to the debate on legalisation: but what this article is more concerned about is your claim that taking drugs is wrong/immoral.

      On the level of personal ethics, do you feel that drinking (responsibly and in moderation) is immoral?

      Could you provide, in a nutshell, the system of morality you use to deem drug use as immoral?

      Could you outline your stance on the issue of psychedelics such as psilocin mushrooms and LSD?

      Further, is it fundamentally immoral to alter consciousness, even if the altered states are achieved through non-chemical means? (such as meditation).

      Ethneogenic compounds have been used in shamanic religious practice for thousands of years. Since so many users of LSD (an admittedly much more recent drug) claim it is an important component to their spiritual lives, and LSD research suggests that the majority of users describe their experience as spiritual or mystical: do you recognise that there is a legitimate concern about the state meddling in such deeply personal matters?

      Is it your view that it is impossible for a chemical to improve the functioning of the human mind? If not, are you certain such a chemical isn’t amoungst those currently controlled?

      Sincerely,
      Cognitive Liberty UK

      • Peter Hitchens said:

        Mr Jardim will have to tell me why laws to discourage mental and physical self-destruction are coparable to, or in any way similar to, alws to control speech, thought or assembly. I cannot see the connection. I was in any case echoing Aldous Huxley’s 1948 preface to ‘Brave New World’ (itself a prediction of a world in which people – like Mr Jardim- love their own servitude and are angered by those who oppose it) in which he makes this precise point. Isn’t it observable that in an age of TV and dope, the populatiionis more passive than at any time in recent history? The process is not yet finished. That doens’t mean it is not taking place.

      • cognitivelibertyuk said:

        But Peter- in the 1960s/70s the psychedelic drug LSD seemed to highly energise the American public’s resistance to the right wing military industrial machine they found themselves caught up in. Please read the article: ‘Psychededelics, Consumer-Capitalism, Power & Authority‘.

        LSD caused people to question and deconstruct the very power-structures you agree that we should be resisting.

        In Huxley’s later Novel, ‘The Island’: Soma is used for spiritual-enlightenment, gaining self-knowledge and ‘super-learning’.

        In both The Island & Brave New World Soma is used widely: what is horrific about Brave New World is not that drugs are used, but that drugs are imposed upon the population by the state (thus removing their freedom to choose, thus impinging on their cognitive liberty)

        Respecting Cognitive Liberty does not mean forcing drugs down people’s throats, but it doesn’t mean forbidding the drugs either: it is about the state minding it’s own business!

        Cognitive Liberty UK asks only that the Government stop meddling in the personal-spiritual liberties that relate to using ethneogens, or other chemicals considered to be sacred by their users.

        It’s by the government ceasing to interfere with its citizenry that we escape both the dystopia you describe in A Brave New World, AND the dystopia we are currently creating through drug-prohibition.

        You say that ‘People like Mr.Jardim’ (sorry, do you know this man?) “love their own servitude and are angered by those who oppose it” – but surely the act of taking certain drugs is, in some instances, an expression of a spirit rebelling against what it considers to be arbitrary rules imposed by an unjust-authority? That doesn’t sound like servitude to me!

        “will have to tell me why laws to discourage mental and physical self-destruction are coparable to, or in any way similar to, alws to control speech, thought or assembly. I cannot see the connection.”

        Ok- let me explain some reasons why they are comparable.

        1) Drug prohibition >prohibits< certain actions: therefore removing freedoms.

        2) The freedom to use chemicals to alter and explore consciousness has been demonstrably used throughout humanity's history.

        3) That freedom was in-born and God-given. All drugs, even those refined by humans, have their origins in nature: they are a natural (God-created, if you're a Christian) part of the world.

        4) In that psychedelics cause spiritual experiences the laws, in effect, control spiritual experience: thus impinging on one of the most basic human liberties of all.

        5) If you believe in freedom of thought, and also see that there is some kind of relationship between our thoughts and our neurological conditions, it is obvious that removing an individual's right to control his own neurological conditions is tantamount to removing their freedom of thought.

        6) Unlike laws which prohibit harmful actions such as murder or assault, most drug users expose only themselves to risks: the two are thus not-comparable.

        7) The ability to explore transcendental/mystical/spiritual consciousness is an in-built faculty of the human mind, all human-beings have the capacity to experience the divine, it is perverse for the state to impliment laws that prevent people from exploring it as they see fit.

      • Peter Hitchens said:

        By defintion, drinking *responsibly* and *moderately* would not be *immoral*. But who defines these terms? If we are left to do so ourselves, we might just do so in a way that was too relaxed for our own good, or that of others. That iswhy i think alcohol should be expensive and quite difficult to buy, especially for the young.

        I think it always wrong to be drunk, or to be intoxicated in a way that dulls my mental faculties. I know it’s difficult to the point of absurdity to compare the effects of different drugs, but It’s my belief that all the drugs covered by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 would take me straight to intoxication and stupefaction, whereas there is a stage in alcohol consumption which falls well short of it. .

        I think those faculties are a gift of great value, which should not be abused, dulled, damaged or distorted. they were given to me to help me see, hear, smell , feel and understand the world I live in and also to know and understand my fellow creatures, and in my view to help me to to know God. The system of morlaity which tells me not to abuse or destroy these astonishing and valuable gifts is the Christian religion.

        I know little about meditation, but its effects fall within the limits of the brain as it is, and do not require the ingestion of chemicals whose effects are unknowable, both in the short and long term, and which may overthrow the mind entirely and for good..

        Law, properly understood, cannot in any case interfere in such an activity. Laws against drugs, intended to prevent their use, are actually formulated as laws against *possession*. I cannot think, even if I thought it desirable, and I don’t, of how a properly-drafted law could interfere with or prevent meditation.

        I cannot state categorically that it is impossible for a chemcial to iprove the functioning of the human mind, though I would one again be tediously precise, and ask what you mean by ‘improve’ . But it seeems to me to be highly unlikley, espcially given the infancy of our knowledge about the functioning of the brain, that we could safely or beneficially interfere with a healthy and undamaged brain.

        The use of surgeryor drugs on damaged or diseased brains is a different question, but even
        there it is well known that it is very easy to do damage while seeking to do good.

      • cognitivelibertyuk said:

        “By defintion, drinking *responsibly* and *moderately* would not be *immoral*. But who defines these terms? If we are left to do so ourselves, we might just do so in a way that was too relaxed for our own good, or that of others.”

        But isn’t it actually a very basic right that we may do with our minds and bodies as we, as rational adults, see fit? I find it repugnant to think that another person feels he has the right to tell another rational adult what they can and cannot do with their own mind, what they can and cannot experience: especially in the deeply personal realm of psychedelic-spirituality. As long as we harm no one, we work our jobs and pay our taxes, why is it any one elses business?

        This moral code is so obscure, so extremist, so overly puritanical – where is this all coming from? No body is forcing you to take drugs, why not just live and let live? You seem to be defending the removal of basic human freedoms: the freedom to do as you please with your life as long as you do no harm.

        Even if we only use the cold hard scientific research to guide us on the issue of psychedelics we see that:

        a) LSD and Psilocin are much safer than other drugs (yet are still Class A?) Safer than many legal psycho-pharmaceuticals, ans safer than many day-to-day activities (e.g. riding a motorbike) and some extreme-sports: activities I’m sure you don’t think should be banned.

        b) Psychedelics have the consistant effect of producing ‘spiritually significant’ experiences, often causing lasting positive changes in personality.

        c) Psychedelics have great potential as psychotherepeutic agents.

        d) Psychedelics are relatively safe: seemingly safer than many psychoactive medications used by the NHS to treat depression.

        “I think it always wrong to be drunk, or to be intoxicated in a way that dulls my mental faculties.”

        Psychedelics do not to dull mental faculties: people take them precisely because they do the opposite. Since you have not tried psychedelics, and apparently not read much of the scientific literature about them, you literally do not know what you are talking about.

        I think that an intoxicant is any thing (chemicalor otherwise) that turns the mind into a toxic environment. Many drugs not only fail to do this, they have a lasting beneficial effect on the mind.

        Psychedelics and even cannabis have been clearly shown to enhance certain cogntive faculties (such as creativity). Psychedelics have also been, if used correctly, to enhance problem-solving skills: out ability to solve problems being the general measure of intelligent.

        “It’s my belief that all the drugs covered by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 would take me straight to intoxication and stupefaction, whereas there is a stage in alcohol consumption which falls well short of it.”

        You are free to have that belief: but there is neither scientific evidence to support it, nor are you speaking from personal experience. When LSD was added to the controlled substances list, that decision was not based on scientific evidence or personal experience: it was based on politics, pure and simple.

        “I think those faculties are a gift of great value, which should not be abused, dulled, damaged or distorted. they were given to me to help me see, hear, smell , feel and understand the world I live in and also to know and understand my fellow creatures, and in my view to help me to to know God.”

        The human mind also has the capacity for transcending those senses: since that was a part of God’s design, why shut it off and neglect it? Many people who use LSD claim to have experiences of God whilst on it, many become deeply religious or spiritual people as a result, surely that’s no body’s business by their own?

        “The system of morlaity which tells me not to abuse or destroy these astonishing and valuable gifts is the Christian religion.”

        Good for you, but please do not impose your moral and religious views on other people when they are not harming others: being an adult means being allowed to take ones own risks.

        Moreover: isn’t it possible that God made cannabis for humans to use as a medicine? It’s medicinal value really has been proved beyond any shadow of a doubt!

        “I cannot state categorically that it is impossible for a chemcial to iprove the functioning of the human mind, though I would one again be tediously precise, and ask what you mean by ‘improve’ .”

        Well, for example, many people use the physically addictive psychoactive drug caffeine, in order to improve concentration and ward of tiredness. Do you ever drink tea or coffee Peter?

        Drinking tea is an example of a drug allowing people to control their mind-state in order to reach more desirable psychological states: either they are all delusional, or they feel they gain some benefit by drinking tea.

        It is then a given: >some< chemicals can be used to produce beneficial effects. Maybe the only thing we disagree on is which chemicals have the potential to cause benefit? In which case I refer to the vast body of scientific research indicating the many benefits, and few risks, of sensible LSD use.

        There is strong evidence that we can use chemicals to enhance many aspects of the mind's functioning: the emergence of smart drugs, the use of chemicals in treating mental illness, both indicate this to be true.

        By 'improve', in the context of psychedelics, I refer to the following facts about psychedelic drug-use:

        - Psychedelics may cause a greater awareness of the spiritual aspects of existence, including oneself and ones place in the universe.
        - Psychedelics may cause Lasting personality changes which make one happier and more functional.
        - Studies have shown that LSD greatly reduces death-anxiety in terminally ill patients.
        - LSD can treat addictions to alcohol and other drugs.
        - LSD is asosciated with enhanced creativity, creativity that can be manifest in virtually any field of human endeavour: from art, to music, to architecture, to the invention of novel technologies (both Gates and Jobs have used LSD).
        - LSD can even, in some instances, improve sporting ability.

        Ultimately it’s up to the individual to decide whether or not he considers these things improvements: it is our position at Cognitive Liberty UK that adults should have the right to decide on all of these issues for themselves based on the scientific evidence the government choses to ignore.

        If one reads accounts of how actual users experience LSD (see here) so many seem to talk of it as beneficial: who are you to say otherwise? Isn’t it, and shouldn’t it be, entirely up to them?

        “I know little about meditation, but its effects fall within the limits of the brain as it is, and do not require the ingestion of chemicals whose effects are unknowable, both in the short and long term, and which may overthrow the mind entirely and for good.”

        Yet meditation has been shown to alter the neurological activity in the brain- so could be construed as a chemical manipulation on a certain level. It also produces mystical experiences, whose (attempted) description has an uncanny resemblance to the psychedelic state: I know there’s a theological argument that taking psychedelics is like taking a helicopter to Everest- but God is always pleased to have guests, he always forgives, and the experiences still have the potential to be of great benefit to individuals.

        Research, again, indicates that LSD is very very unlikely to: “overthrow the mind entirely and for good.” since the experiences it produces are not only temporary but tend to give people a greater sense of control over their mind.

        “The use of surgeryor drugs on damaged or diseased brains is a different question, but even there it is well known that it is very easy to do damage while seeking to do good.”

        And yet, still possible to do good. It certainly seems plausible that if drugs can be used to restore sub-standard mental faculties to greater strength, then drugs could be used to enhance the mental faculties of an average mind and make them more powerful also.

        For example, if a drug can be used to address depression, the same drug would presumably make a non-depressed person happier still. If there is no harm done by doing so: what’s the problem?

        Many psychotherapists would use MDMA, LSD and Magic Mushrooms to treat mental illnesses. They are the experts on treating mental illness, let’s let them do their job and offer treatments to well-informed, well-educated, consenting adults.

  2. Tom said:

    If it was down to the like of Hitchens then yes, we most likely would win, but it isn’t, right now we have the Home Affairs Select Committee looking into drug policy, we have Keith Vaz MP as the chair, already censured by no less than three committee’s already, add that to the fact that he voted for a return to Class B for Cannabis ….

    • cognitivelibertyuk said:

      It depends on ones definition of victory. We are cheifly concerned with the survival of British psychedelic culture: which currently thrives, and is potentially strengthened by the sense of comradery in the face of its oppressor. Essentially, the underground network of drug trafficking really is impossible to stop any way.

  3. Eduardo Jardim said:

    he ends his speech saying that consuming drugs makes people passive for dictatorships (which is something that he DID NOT demonstrate), therefore he advocates an authoritarian legislation to prevent that. yeah, makes PERFECT sense!

    • cognitivelibertyuk said:

      Couldn’t agree more. I wonder what Hitchens’ utopia would look like exactly?

      • Peter Hitchens said:

        I don’t have a Utopia. Utopia is always approached across a sea of blood, and you never arrive. That’s why conservatives dislike the idea.

      • cognitivelibertyuk said:

        Fair enough, but surely you can see that imprisonment is a terrible harm to inflict upon some one? It is brutal and authoritarian. Fair enough if its used on vile rapists and murderers, but to put people there who havn’t actually harmed any one (often not even themselves)… it is unconscionable.

        If an individual gets put in prison for using a psychedelic, in a responsible and cautious manner, as a sincere approach to spiritual exploration, how is that justice?

        Surely Jardin is making a valid point here? There seems to be a clear contradiction in your position, namely:

        A) That you argue drugs will make a population vulnerable to authoritarian dictatorships.

        B) Whilst advocating drug prohibition, which is in itself an authoritarian measure on the part of the state aiming to control the personal lives of its citizenry.

        I’m not sure it’s logical to set-up one’s own dictatorship, so as to protect a nation from the formation of a dictatorship.

      • Paul said:

        The prisons are over full with drug dealers and drugs. Time to stop putting people in prison where boredom and random drug testing result in more heroin use. I went in prison in 1990 for cannabis and came out a heroin addict. I am still battling 20 years later with heroin addiction because of these drug laws which are supposed to prevent harm.

        If everything was legal it would be cheaper and I would not have had to commit so many crimes in the past to feed my £300,000, 20 year drug habit.

        Now I am on Suboxone a “legal drug”. Just make everything legal and people will not want to try. Tell a kid not to play with matches, and we all know what happens. Tell an adult not to take drugs and we can see what has happened. The laws do not work, just like alcohol prohibition in the 1920′s never worked.

        Cannabis, Opium, Cocaine, Magic Mushrooms etc have all been used for thousands of years, only the last 50 years have humans messed up big time due to the drug laws, made by the same people who start world wars. We are all denied our biggest human right, to do what we want to do without harming others.

  4. What does Hitchens think about DMT,is he against it’s exogenous use,but in favour of any means of raising the levels of our endogenous DMT,could he explain why the exogenous use is immoral & the methods of raising the endogenous levels is presumably OK.& I’d be interested to hear what part of Prohibition he thinks is OK & moral,He as a journalist(?)is presumably aware of the reasons why Cannabis became an illegal substance & he presumably thinks that this was for moral reasons,not due to the interests of big business,Dupont,General Motors,Hearst & Mellon etc,& does he condone the blatantly illegal activity of the CIA especially under G Bush,who have traded in drugs to fund their black ops.
    The man comes across as a poorly informed fool & yes it has to be said a fascist,We have a right to our cognitive liberty,where there is no victim,there is no crime.
    prohibition is an evil we must do our best to end,it is the problem.

  5. Kykeon said:

    Oh Peter, the ignorance. You really think any drug in a random act from 1971 will make you stupid?

    You have no idea. Absolutely no idea. I’m so sorry.

    Even with threshold doses of any of the well known psychedelics your senses would open like you never thought possible. You’d see the world like you literally cannot imagine it now.

    The psychedelics don’t make you stupid, they don’t make you passive. Have you ever seen someone under the effect? The look on their faces is usually of awe and astonishment.

    What a shame that you deny yourself one of the greatest experiences we humans can have because of misguided ideology. That’s ok though, it’s your right.

    But you know what bothers me the most?

    That people like you are willing to deny the rest of us such experiences. That you’re willing to impose draconian laws and have the nerve to dictate to us what we can and cannot experience, when we wish no harm upon no one and are only looking for answers.

    That we cannot allow. Those of us who KNOW FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE just how valuable these substances are WILL NOT stand and watch while you and others like you impose steeper and steeper penalties for using. We WILL NOT stand and watch while you attempt to restrict the free flow of information online so that the common man can teach himself on these and other matters.

    You see, in the end you can’t win. You and others like you are waging war on your own children. More and more young people know the truth about these substances each day and more and more of us push for more and more people to get informed and guide them in these altered spaces.

    The reason they don’t trust you or the government is because they’ve seen how ridiculous your stance is on this matter. It’s clear to ANYONE who’s ever had a psychedelic experience: You have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Unfortunately neither do most people in today’s western society. But that’s changing.

    • cognitivelibertyuk said:

      Thanks for posting- really inspirational stuff :)

  6. Paul said:

    Sorry I had to post again as my blood is still boiling!

    “These deliberate, selfish, pleasure-seeking criminals are idiotically treated as if they were ill.”

    All addictions are an illness. That is why their is help for alcoholics, gamblers or drug addicts. It is not a pleasure when things get out of control in any situation, with no money, of course people will commit crime. Mr Hitchens is not a doctor, so he is not even qualified to comment or tell anyone any different about drugs. .

    £300 million a year from the government to save lives is a lot better than illegal drug dealers making billions of pounds on the black market to finance terrorism, which of course costs a lot more and money and lives. He should not knock people who seek help. He should go and do his research before writing anything on this subject, as he is clearly oblivious to the real truth. Russell Brand has a lot more experience on this subject, unlike the alleged writer Peter Hitchens.

    Mr Hitchens, how about making religious beliefs illegal next because they have caused more deaths than drugs? Ayahuasca was being used in the Amazon long before any drug laws were passed. Babies and children drink it legally today in South America as part of their religion, because research has proven it does not cause anyone any harm, unlike alcohol. Yet consenting adults in the UK are being dictated what we can and cannot take. Peter Hitchens has never done any research on drugs and is a fake as the more educated and experienced people on this subject can all clearly see.
    This is all one big publicity stunt by him for his new book. If it is not anything other than a publicity stunt, I guess he is going to be having the book free to download on line for all to read? Or donate all the profits to a good cause. His comments are enough to make me want to commit the ultimate crime on him.

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