The cannabis debate – Round 2

The British cannabis debate continues. The Independent ran responses to criticisms of last weeks change in editorial position on legalization. This week their coverage included an overview of the criticism of their position change (The cannabis debate) and a story looking at the concerns surrounding skunk weed (So how dangerous is skunk?).

The Transform Drug Policy Foundation has a response to The Independent’s responses.

As someone who detests the war on drugs but is ambivalent about radical policy changes, I’m enjoying the debate. Policy reform advocates advocates often point to alcohol–it’s more harmful and we tried prohibition which created horrible problems and no one regrets abandoning it. The alcohol arguments hardly stir motivation for drug reform. Alcohol is associated with significant public health and social problems with addicted and social users, the alcohol and tobacco industries lobbies’ are powerful and noxious, they have powerful promotional machines with dubious histories, and it’s reasonable to speculate that age of first use might drop further.

I’m interested in hearing more analysis about the position change of The Independent. They said the following to explain their position change:

We quote John Maynard Keynes in our defence: “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

No one seems to be accusing them of bad motives, just stupidity. I’d like to hear more analysis about their decision making process and whether others agree that the facts have changed significantly.