During a BBC 5 Live discussion about the emergence of the cannabis social club movement in Britain a listener called in to say that he believed his brother, who died from an overdose before the age of 40, would still be alive if he had had access to a cannabis social club.
In a powerful testimony, Aidie from Norfolk said that his brother would have had a better chance of not being led down the wrong path if he had access to a social environment where drug-taking was regulated.
“I wished he had had access to a cannabis social club because I firmly believe he would be alive if he had,” said Aidie.
Listen to Aidie from 8mins 19sec
“He was a regular cannabis user, socially with his friends, happily, he had his ups and downs but it was only cannabis and that is all it ever was. But one evening he was introduced to ketamine, horse tranquiliser, and from that point on I can list a catalogue of horrors, including theft and prison, he derailed as a person. It was purely because of the company that he was keeping at that time that he got introduced to that.
“I believe if he had been part of a social club he would have enjoyed his cannabis, they don’t have any other drugs, just cannabis, he would have been happy; it would have been somewhere to go, somewhere to socialise, and I do firmly believe he wouldn’t have gone down the road he ended up on.
“If you’re in an environment where other drugs aren’t readily available, rather than going to a dealer who is going to try to sell you something else, without the willpower you just fall by the wayside.
“I’ve got friends who have never taken any other drugs or even smoked cigarettes, just cannabis. Some of the people my brother went on the wrong path with, they’ve changed their lives around and are living perfectly healthy, normal lives, married with families, but he never got out of that rut. He went into remission, he was on methadone or something for years and then someone, one of this crowd asked him years later if he could help them score, which he did, and he had a little bit, and he died in his sleep.”
On the same show, Hardyal Dhinsda, the Police Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire and National Lead for Drugs Misuse, said that Britain needs to have “an adult conversation” about legalising cannabis social clubs.
The interview came after more national media coverage of UKCSC and the legalisation movement, with chairman Greg de Hoedt calling for the right to grow on 5 Live and Teeside CSC founder Michael Fisher calling for club licences on BBC News.