For whatever reason, Howard's death has affected me more than I thought it would. I've found my mind straying over towards him during this last day or so. I met Howard on a number of occasions and in many different settings.
Isn't it about time we afforded society and all of its members the dignity of treating a possible dependency through professionalism and basic levels of understanding. We set ourselves up for a fall when we try to distinguish who's entitled to care based on the noun of what their problem may be. Addictions shouldn't be feared, but they should have default impartiality.
2014 was quite the year for drug policy. Whatever your thoughts regarding this global issue, the most important thing was that it really felt like people were talking about it - and more importantly - acting on those words... So much progress has been made, but more is still to be done.
I believe it's time to stage an intervention and help the Mail come to terms with its problems.
Norman Baker MP has taken the unprecedented step of calling for a rethink of the medicinal utilisation of cannabis. Never before has the UK spoken in such unbridled terms. The government, however, wasted no time in reaching for the stock reply: "We have no plans, *insert generic harm statement* we're winning the war on drugs...blah..." -
When we address what drug law reforms mean in real terms, we can use this as a case in point. Seattle are in process of a rational, humane, affable conversation of responsibility, compared with that of V-Festival who are flailing in the wind and are arguably operating outside the laws that we do actually have.
It has become an indelible etching on the national psyche; cannabis and psychosis dovetail like fish and chips. The impact of cannabis on the mind has been well documented in the British press, but it remains an unfortunate muddle as the link is as far from clear as one is led to believe.
As the government's arbitrary decision to ban Khat still resonates and incongruently flies in the face of evidence, it seems
As the UN celebrated the rather insidious International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, a day that has in the past been malevolently marked by executions, a counter voice resonated across the globe thanks to the Support Don't Punish campaign.
Oh good, the obligatory news has broken that 'Super Strength Skunk' has invaded the isles and is wreaking havoc on UK shores. For those that work in drug policy, this story is similar to May Day: it comes round annually and leads to all kinds of pageantry - complete with bell ringing and the clashing of batons in a calamitous Morris-style jig.