« Two things to watch | Main | Hague: Cameron is best leader Tories have had since 1997 »


My concern started to grow last night when one ConservativeHome visitor suggested that we somehow celebrate the news:

He must be stoned to access the Net using AOL

Well yes. But unless you're trying to say that Cameron's youthful indiscretions make him somehow a poster boy for those who want to legalise cannabis now, I'm still struggling to understand what this "story" is about?

That Graeme Archer (09:14) must be the danger...

"Smoking cannabis didn't do Cameron any harm mum. He has never even said it was wrong. Think about it: I can use drugs now and still be Prime Minister."

""This is FANTASTIC news! Gordon Brown admitted that he never took drugs - Cameron did! Great news for those of us trying to win over our generation (18-30) I mean who the hell apart from a few odd balls (Brown and Widdecombe) has never smoked dope, taken an ecstasy tablet or (God forbid) snorted a line of coke? BREAKING NEWS: David Cameron is officially a member of the Human Race!""

I haven't, and those who know me can decide whether I am an "oddball" or not a member of the Human Race!!!!!

Those who do partake in the above activities do so by choice and must accept the repercussions, if any, of their activity, for which they are wholly responsible.

With regards to the allegation made against Mr Cameron, if true, it was of course 20 odd years ago, and it is worth quoting the following from the candidate's application form:

"PERSONAL CHARACTER". Please detail any serious incident in yor life, either personal or business, which might cause you or the Party embarrassment if they were disclosed subsequent to your selection. Please give sufficient detail to help us assess their importance and relevance."

I rather agree with Mr Oborne's conclusion at the end of the article.

Doesn't Cameron know it is still against the law to provide or smoke Cannabis?

He was asked questions about drugs during the leadership campaign. If it "doesn't matter" why didn't he tell the truth at the time?

Silence amounts to a lie.

The big question now is, what else has he been into?

Can Mr Cameron assure voters that should any Member of his Shadow Cabinet or possible Cabinet ever be found in possession of illegal substances he/she will be fired ?

In the unlikely event, one would hope TomTom, that they would be "honourable" or "right honourable" enough to resign rather than wait to be fired.

"Silence amounts to a lie." 09:26

Not always.

The big story is that Cameron has LIED. I know he hs lied because I was once on the candidates' list and I had to sign - truthfully - that declaration about embarrassing past incidents.

Clearly Cameron made a false declaration, enough to have him thrown off the list.

This morning he was filmed outside his house looking decidedly shifty as he came out with the obligatory "no comment". All we need now is the sight of this would-be PM being shoved into a black car with a bag over his head.

We need to know about his hard drugs record, now! No if's or buts. A straight answer ti a straight question.

Otherwise this man should be shunned.

If Cameron has any other skeletons in his closet it would be wise to admit to them now,
for if there are other revelations near an election it could prove disastrous.
With Hague this morning restricting the 'fruitcakes,loonies and racists' tag to only the leadership of UKIP, a partial lesson has been learnt by the Tories,although Gummer on 'Any Questions' tried to smear UKIP by comparing it with the BNP.

I heard Hague rather pathetically praising Cameron, "Centre Ground", and all the other crap.

We all know that Hague is not a Cameroon. I think he's there waiting for Cameron to stumble, and he may not have to wait long.

It's a pity Hague wasn't asked to name the UKIP leaders he has in mind. Farage seems very reasonable to me - not at all like the racist BNP.

And, yes, Michael. I think that we the grassroots should now demand that Cameron comes clean about all his past indiscretions.

Actually, a politician has no right to a private life. That's the sacrifice he makes for enjoying the privileges of public life.

I think he should stand down. Are we seriously to support a man who at the age of 15 was not acting like a future Prime Minister? This can only get worse; what are we to find out he did when he was 10 years old, or 5?

Dear ToryDiary,

Re: Cameron's cannabis/school years.

Firstly I would like to say that I think what Cameron is doing is good as he is showing he will not be bowed by the press.
It shows strength rather than weakness.

That isn't to say he didn't use cannabis he probably did. Frankly it would be more worrying if he hadn't. In todays world I think the general population appreciate a man who 'has lived a little' being in a position of power.

As for the Sunday Mail article. I think it should be pointed out that tha Mail is a notorious anti-cannabis paper. It often misrepresents the truth on the issue.

Modern cannabis is a prime example of this. The fact is cannabis hasn't become any stronger. There were always very strong and very weak varieties available.
However in recent years the demand for cannabis has become more prevalent and more selective then back in the seventies. The result is that more growers take more care to grow higher quality cannabis. So there is a higher proportion of high quality cannabis available.
As for 'genetic engineering', cannabis has been selectively bred for many years by the Major Dutch Cannabis Seed Companies. This is as natural as the breeding of German Shepherd Dogs or Belted Galloways Cows. It is the bases of all succesful farming.

This underscores the fact that prohibition has done nothing to control cannabis as a drug, a plant and a culture. The only way to truly control it is proper controlled availability.
Finally I welcome Cameron's promise on medical cannabis. I will vote tory for the first time on the basis of it.

Would this be you Mr Mainzer?

Mainzer, 50, who has a PhD in biochemistry, but is currently unemployed, was proud of his growing room, Fenland magistrates were told on Tuesday.

Both Mainzer and his son, Sam, 23, also unemployed, but formerly a trainee gamekeeper, admitted cultivating a quantity of the class C drug on August 22.

They were arrested when police went to Lilypool House in Long Drove on an unrelated matter, said prosecutor Nicola Ebbs.

Thirty plants were discovered together with a hydroponics growing system, lights, chemicals and timers.

Mainzer told police he grew the cannabis - which had a strength of 14 per cent compared to the normal two per cent - for his son to combat post traumatic stress, as the result of a bad experience he suffered in America at the age of 16.

Sam Mainzer confirmed he helped set up the growing room, and needed cannabis for medication. He had previously been given cannabis by a holistic centre in London at a cost of £200 a week.

Our party needs your support like a noose round the neck.

Use of drugs is essentially a private matter in so far as any harm is restricted to the drug user.In actuality this is NEVER the case.Cannabis today is recognised as a dangerous drug with it's linkage to mental illness, with all the social problems this brings.The downgrading of the is drug by New Labour does this country no credit.

David Cameron need only articulate the fact that he deeply regrets using cannabis and that he was WRONG to do so.He should then go on to argue the case previously put by David Davis as it relates to drug policy.

Cameron however always appears unable to admit error.He should do so now unless he wishes his to descend further to the depths inhabited by the PM and become the real "heir to Blair" is that what we want in our leader?

I went to a comprehensive school. If I had been caught with cannabis at school, I would been reported to the police and expelled. Cameron was merely gated. One rule for the rich and one for the poor!!

This story also shows hows public schools headmasters, teachers and pupils conspired to cover up illegal activities at their institutions. I call that perversion of the course of justice.

Like it or not allusions to Cameron's drug use in the past will endear him to a lot of people but it shouldn't be out of all proportion.

If it's true then he's representative of a lot of people who have used and use drugs whose lives have not been ruined in any way shape or form by it. I would reckon that accounts for the majority of people who have used hard and soft drugs in their lifetime.

I would be very surprised if Cameron does regret taking illegal drugs anymore than the average person regrets having one too many to drink and a blinding hangover.The only thing he'll be worried about is the poltical threat it presents to him from people who refuse to believe that we can protect the vulnerable without criminalizing decent people who choose to use drugs. Let's encourage them to do so responsibly.

Yes there are dangers associated with drug use just as there are dangers associated with alcohol or gambling or getting up in the morning and yes attention should be paid to those dangers and how to mittigate them.

There are lies and there are lies and this is not a lie that I mind Cameron telling. He's been backed into a corner by well intentioned but overzealous, misguided and irrational approach to drugs law.

You know what-I'll bet he drank alcohol at that age too. Disgraceful.

Alex Forsyth-'Your' party needs all the support it can get.
I notice you have omitted most of that articles content about medical need.

You have highlighted the reason why I would support the tories. If David Cameron is serious about medical cannabis then that is good.
I don't use cannabis now and have an offer for medical school next year. But I wouldn't be in that position if I hadn't used cannabis to overcome Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I am not ashamed of my actions and the Police apologised to me for having to press charges at the behest of the CPS. The magistrates clearly took pity on me and gave me a conditional discharge.

It is a shame that certain biggots, and you Forsyth may well be one of those, feel that their prejudices are acceptable in a modern society.
It is really time to look at the issue in a more mature way.

I will tell you what is disgraceful - that the upper classes break the law and then argue for stiffer penalties for others.

The Conservative Party is again run by Lord Snooty and his stoned chums.

They also dine hugely off servants. The horror.

We should never confus prescribed drugs used under medical guidance and the action of smoking cannabis recreationaly.There is no linkage.What we should concern ourselves with is the recreational use of cannabis.

Cannabis is linked to psychological disorder.In turn this presdisposes individual to mental health problem which can predicate family breakdrown or other social problems.

In addition there is the money to be made from hawking cannabis.Inevitably this will encourage criminal action which further blights the communities who endure it.

We don't need a "more enlightened drugs policy" if it leads to the problems above.Cameron should come clean admit error and committ to a strong anti recreational drugs policy.

I see the UKIP trolls are out in force again. He was fifteen for god's sake, get some perspective.

"criminalizing decent people who choose to use drugs"

DECENT people who take drugs? That's a contradiction in terms.

I'll bet many non-druggie Tories are waking up today to regret that they ever voted for this man.

These smart-arse members of the silver-spoon-in-mouth liberal elite think they can break the law as they please while ordinary people on council estates are rounded up by police.

Its the same old story. One rule for the pampered little rich darlings - another for everybody else.

No wonder Cameron is so slippery on drugs.
If the rumours are true that he also took drugs at University it will surely tarnish his image even more.
Still, perhaps we will now move on from Hug a Hoodie to a 'Hug a Druggie' policy.

Don't forget that he also stated that he 'had not taken Class A drugs since entering parliament'.

This man is as slippery as Clinton with his clever-dick legalese statements but of course that could be read to signify that he has taken pot since entering parliament.

Somebody tipped the papers off about Eton and got paid (why oh why didn't they come forward two years ago and save our party?)

Who's next in line with even more crippling revelations.

"Viscount" Lindley wrote "I see the UKIP trolls are out in force again. He was fifteen for god's sake, get some perspective."

Yep, Dave had the money and contacts to buy cannabis at 15. He got gated. Where I lived, I would have been prosecuted at the juvenile court and sent to borstal.

Exactly. The downtrodden proletariat must rise up against the oppression of the upper classes. They have nothing to lose but their chains.

Good for Cameron! Let's legalise ALL drugs, tax them (to pay for rehabs centres) and sell them alongside porn mags. Yes, I am a libertarian-slanted Conservative.

You can call me viscount all you like, but as I was born in Lanarkshire and grew up in Salford the cap doesn't really fit.

Incidentally, if you think the police anywhere lock kids up just for smoking the odd spliff, then you are entirely delusional.


"Cannabis is linked to psychological disorder."

Martin. It's not by any means proven beyond reasonable doubt. There are ongoing investigations in this area and of course they should be taken heed of but that is completely from leaping to the assumption that cannabis use damages everyone who uses it, mentally or physically. It depends on a whole load of variables such as how often it's used and how it's consumed.

A limited number of studies have shown that it may make some people inclined to mental illness where they already were predisposed to being mentally ill. Consumption of alcohol can lead to many more crippling medical conditions than using cannabis- which affect friends, family members and society negatively. Do we ban alcohol or impose ridiculoulsy harsh penalties on people who use it? No of course we don't. We target the misuse of alcohol and try to protect the vulnerable in a rational way while accepting that people can make choices, even stupid ones (and I'm not saying that drug use is always a stupid choice).If we had a proper dialogue about drugs instead of trying to scare people into not using them then we might get to the heart of the problem which is misuse of drugs.

Nikki it's simply and self evidently narrow minded and factually incorrect to imply that you cannot be or have been both a decent person and a recreational drug user. It's such unyielding ignornace of real life that helps to turn so many people away from the political discourse they see as dominated by grand standing self righteousness.

Editor - suggest you remove the previous post by Jailhouselawyer.

Cameron should stand down because at fifteen he wasn`t acting like a future Prime Minister. Anyone at fifteen who is walking around acting like a future Prime Minister is more likely to end up being sectioned than be Prime Minister.
The only people who see something in this story are the looney right who would attack Cameron if it was reported that he lived the life of a monk before he entered Parliament let alone anything else.

Thanks Ted. Have just overwritten jailhouselawyer's comment and attempted to ban his IP address (again).

Yes, I am a libertarian-slanted Conservative.

You are certainly confused - just what do you conserve Justin ? Would anyone recognise you as a Conservative or is it simply the only party that would have you ?

The fact is that most people of Cameron's age group, and certainly the majority of us younger than him have seen people use recreational soft drugs without any serious problems. To protect the minority who develop pyschological illnesses we have to say that cannabis is Bad with a capital B. It is almost a no win situation and Cameron is well placed - he can talk about drug addictions with some authority because of his family background, but without making people who take or have taken soft drugs feel demonised

The reason this is a story is because Cameron was so glibly ambiguous about it during the leadership campaign - had he been honest, and said that he was 15, a long time ago etc etc then this would be a complete non story.

Was he scared of losing the blue-rinse vote? If so, he surely isn't as committed to reforming the Tory Party as you would like - or not, seeing most of the comments on this site...

David Cameron smoked the odd spliff - so what!!!????
I certainly tried the stuff - not at school but when I was in my twenties. After not very many goes I decided I didn't like it as it merely made me go to sleep in a corner and not be much fun at parties!
It is absolutely right to say that most people (apart from the few "oddballs") try it...most eventually see it for what it is - rubbish!

I want to conserve the best and improve the rest!

I've said it before and etc etc, but I challenge the authoritarians to come up with much of a list of people who when they first came into contact with cannabis turned it down, not for health reasons, not for fear of being caught but because they regarded it as an absolute moral wrong.

And TomTom - I know Justin, he is an *extremely* hard working activist, and while you may not like all of his views, I regard him as a credit to our party, and so should anyone else who wishes to see the Conservative Party return to power, not just nationally, but in outwardly unpromising territory like Haringey.

Can we assume that the Labour Party will never, EVER, take Euan Blair as a candidate because he was found plastered in a public space and lied to the police when he was ?15/16?.

For heavens' sake, Cameron didn't rape or murder anyone, he was bloody foolish, like so many of us have been (other than the sickeningly righteous posting here) when he was a kid.

You want to bet that Blair didn't try anything foolish at either Fettes or Oxford? People do silly things when they are young, and hopefully they learn from it, and are wiser and better adults as a result.

I am getting truly fed up with posters turning this into an AntiConservativeHome site. I would suggest many of you should try commenting on the disastrous state of the NHS, education and the economy, let alone the tragedy of our troops dying in pointless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, rather than the piffling mistake of a schoolboy 25 yrs ago.

Thanks for the kind words, Mr. Croydonian.

Just for a change, I agree with sjm. There are far more important things to discuss than the stupid mistakes of a 15 year old schoolboy!

Are we talking about Cameron or Hinchcliffe?

I did not say that the link between cannabis and mental illness was proven just that there is evidence that there is a link.For me this indicates that we proceed with caution.Certainly I oppose downgrading cannabis whilst these possibilities remain.

It is irrefutable that drug supply is lucrative.In many instances this leads to a whole inner city communities being blighted by those who profit from the drug trade.Cannabis maybe at the softerend of this wedge but a zero tolerance may well brthe best way of avoiding future social problems.

commenting on the disastrous state of the NHS

The NHS is NOT in a disastrous state. Having just spent the past week dealing with a relative in a major NHS Hospital it was excellent...vety little to complain about.

There are problems in the NHS but simply making political capital is not going to inspire much trust in Conservatives who have no intention of doing anything different from Labour ie. creeping privatisation and reorganisation.

What is stunning is that you can joke with staff and find friendly and warm response to human interaction from people suffering under the constant bombardment of politicians who have no clue what they are doing, and a headline-driven yellow-press fabricating stories ad nauseam.

The NHS is not disastrous - the political system is.

This from PA casts some doubt on the added potency of today's cannabis;

"An increase in intensive indoor cannabis cultivation in the UK since David Cameron's schooldays is widely believed to have increased the availability of more potent varieties.

Some high-profile reports have said that modern cannabis is now 10 or even 20 times stronger than that available in the 1970s. But, as with any illegal drug, finding reliable and complete information on what is on the streets is difficult.

A report by the European Monitoring Centre For Drugs and Addiction in 2004 rejected the idea that cannabis had become significantly stronger in most of Europe since the 1970s, with only "modest" overall increases.

The strength of cannabis is measured by the percentage of a component called Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

A briefing paper by the UK charity DrugScope estimates that the THC content of most cannabis available in the UK has remained relatively constant at 6-8%.

The European study found that only in the Netherlands, where more than half of all cannabis is produced through indoor cultivation, was this significantly higher at 16%.

While the potency of standard imported cannabis has remained relatively unchanged, indoor cultivation is known to boost THC concentrations two or threefold.

This is because of both growing techniques themselves as well as the practice of cross-fertilisation to produce much stronger hybrid varieties such as skunk."

Ed, have you ever smoked the stuff? Like everything else, it's OK in moderation.

No I haven't ever used cannabis or any illegal drugs.

Ed I appreciate your trying to keep the site free of people like jhl.

There's no story here. Cameron made it plain he'd done things he regretted in his past, that he had a right to pre-politics mistakes, and he won 2/3 of the votes for leader on that basis.

It is aggravating to read "He must state his position on cannabis" when he already did so, very recently, on WebCameron direct to camera.

It stays illegal. Sorry Justin. Cameron is also against the Euro Constitution and will withdraw from the social chapter and keep the pound.

It's a great mistake to assume that people who have tried drugs will want them to be legal. In many cases quite the reverse.

Crikey; how did Europe come into it?

I'm pointing out how far removed Cameron is from your pro-Europe, drugs, porn, atheism etc agenda, Justin.

We're veering away from the real question which is whether Cameron told lies when he applied for the candidates' list.

The evidence is that he did. That means we need a sensible answer from him instead of his current shifty "no comment"

As for Justin Hinchcliffe he and his disgisting opinions just serve to show what the cat has brought in to this once-great party of ours.

I don't think you could put a cigarette paper between Cameron and me. Sorry to disappoint. One Nation Conservatism, mixed with traditional liberal/libertarian values, is at the heart the Agenda for winning power and wiining for Britain. Sorry to disappoint.

It take it that Alex Forsyth is the original "Digusted of Tunbridge Wells"?

I don't think you could put a cigarette paper between Cameron and me. Sorry to disappoint.

For once I agree 100% with Justin Hinchcliffe.

Think about it, I'm glad that the ludicrous Hinchcliffe is on the scene. Every time he opens his mouth he tells the world what the Cameron Project is really all about.

This is a copy of an article I've written on the subject:

'Politicians are entitled to lives, too.'

The furore concerning Tory leader David Cameron’s apparent drug-taking at Eton College is daunting to anyone contemplating a political career. Not content with simply analysing in detail how the politician currently lives his life, the media now pry into every detail of a politician’s childhood and schooling, hoping that they can find the big, career-wrecking story that will bring a leader down.

Yet this event will certainly not bring Cameron down. He was fifteen at the time of taking cannabis, and the matter was dealt with internally by staff at Eton. Friends note that the event had a major effect on the young Cameron and led to him working harder and achieving better results.

It is estimated that approximately one third of the British adult population have tried illegal drugs at one point in their lives. It is clear that Cameron does not currently take drugs. By barring him from high office over what was a minor altercation in his youth, the media would effectively be barring vast swathes of the population from political advancement.

It is right and proper that politicians have their lives scrutinised to a degree, but the media seem determined to weave a scandal out of every senior political figure, even when there is nothing important to be revealed. Similarly, it is wrong to criticise Left-wing political figures who attended independent schools - should we really expect their political views to be fully developed by the age of eleven, when it is usually parents who have the final say on choice of educational institution? Most would say not.

The only question which has to be answered is whether Cameron’s youthful mistake affects his judgement now; there are no signs that it is doing so. Cameron naturally takes a more liberal line on drugs than his predecessor Michael Howard, which is perhaps unsurprising taking into account his move to the centre on a number of issues.

Cameron can now seize the political initiative on this issue by admitting what took place, as a Conservative spokesman has already come close to doing, and explaining how the incident had an impact on his development, both as a person and as politician.

But most importantly, he can ask the public one thing - do they think that this ‘revelation’ actually matters? From the vast majority of people, the answer will surely be a resounding no.

Well TomTom, I'm glad you had a good hospital experience, that of a close friend for the last 9 months, culminating in a major operation last week, has been abysmal.

Try looking at NHSBlogdoc for the professionals' view, don't take my word for it.

Alex Forsyth - I have interviewed dozens, no scores of candidates for the Party over the last 15 years, I would not dream of asking them about their school years, or being interested if they started to talk about them. So lying simply doesn't come into it.

Alexander Fisher's post on this is the sanest thing said here all day.

The media is blowing this out of all proportion... there's a surprise. He was 15 for god's sake! It was a stupid schoolboy mistake (if true) and nothing more.

Apart from the media, and right wingers who want to topple Cameron, who actually cares?
Having said that, I bet I'll get replies saying something like 'any respectable law abiding human being would care about this' or 'any REAL Tory would be disgusted by these revelations'.

Alex Forsyth - I have interviewed dozens, no scores of candidates for the Party over the last 15 years

sjm, are you denying that Cameron would have been required to sign the declaration set out above?

Candidates are usually interviewed by MPs on the course they attend. Are you saying you are an MP?

Cameron can now seize the political initiative on this issue by admitting what took place, as a Conservative spokesman has already come close to doing

Yes that's a fair challenge, Alexander. I agree with that.

And what if he doesn't?

Bob Piper has a very good photo of the new Tory logo...

Alex Forsyth wrote:
Yes that's a fair challenge, Alexander. I agree with that.

And what if he doesn't?

If he doesn't then it's disappointing, but no big deal, really. There is an opportunity to make a gain from these events and to be really open about everything but as it is, it's not a great problem.

I trust DC's judgement on this. It's for him to decide whether it's worth saying anything else.

I think Cameron has dealt with this the only way he can. I've just watched the clip of his statement made outside his house. He refuses to go into what happened in his private life before he became a politician, but he states clearly that "law-makers shouldn't be law-breakers", i.e. that because he's trying to be PM he expects to be scrutinised very much indeed.

To have done anything else would have been to stumble down the first few inches of a very long and slippery slope.

The consensus on this site appears to be that the reported misdemeanour can be dimissed as it occurred twenty five years ago when he was fifteen.
However as the press will continue to dig on this subject, right up to the next election, it would clear the air once and for all if David Cameron issued an unequivocal statement as to whether that was the only occasion he has ever taken such substances.

Really, Justin? And there was me thinking you supported the Euro and the EU Constitution (Cameron is against and declares it to be party policy), that you favour legalising marjuana - Cameron will not, that you believe everybody must share your views on accepting homosexual behaviour and that people who disagree have no place in our party (Cameron has given key positions to Catholics like John Selwyn Gummer and Muslims like Sayeeda Warsi who oppose this), that you despise organised religion (Cameron is the guest speaker at the Conservative Christian Fellowship reception).... you want to promote porn, Cameron has no truck with it, etc, etc etc.

You are about as far removed from Cameron on the left as Edward Leigh is on the right.

No Mr Forsyth, I'm not an MP, and I haven't done PABs, but senior Party officers and agents sit as part of the interview panels for assessing the suitability of Westminster candidates to stay on the list after General Elections, or if there has been a specific problem with an individual. I have also served on assessment panels for candidates for other elected public positions. I would not be interested in anything a candidate did before the age of 18 at least, unless it involved expulsion or a criminal sentence.

"unless it involved expulsion or a criminal sentence"

But it seems that Cameron was only one step away form expulsion from Eton. You're saying his headmaster's decision makes all the difference.

I say he has not been open and honest with us. He is not being open and honest with us now and who knows what may come out before the next Genera; Election?

It's obvious that those who backed Cameron are supporting him come what may. Well I'm proud to say I voted to David Davis. I always thought DC would be a lightweight disaster and now the chickens are coming home to roost.

are we saying people who smoked cannabis aged 15 should be hung, drawn and quartered? Perhaps if Davis had become leader he would have restored capital punishment for such people?

Is that what you would like Nikki?

For Chrissake! The lad was 15. He would probably been bullied/called a wimp/ go on just one puff/ Have you lot never been subjected to peer pressure??? With me it was ciggies. It all depends on what was verboten at school, and whether you had to hide while you were doing it.

Try looking at NHSBlogdoc for the professionals' view, don't take my word for it.

I am very familiar with Dr Crippen - but it does not change the fact that the NHS as such is not disastrous and some hospitals do have problems just as many German, US and French hospitals have problems.

As for the happy cannabis smokers - how can they be certain their reefers are not spiked with crack cocaine ? It seems an ideal way to get children onto the harder stuff

"are we saying people who smoked cannabis aged 15 should be hung, drawn and quartered?"

No. I'm saying he should never have stood as leader of our party and he shouldn't be leader now. I never wanted him anyway.

I'm almost the same age as DC and although there was a scandal at my school with several girls expelled I was never offered any drugs ever, and I would not have accepted them if I had been. It would have been a betrayal of my parents and everything my family stands for.

Cameron was a wafer away from disgracing his family and being kicked out of Eton. Is that the kind on man we want as leader? He's a rotten leader anyway.

Most Conservatives are a lot older than I am and the idea that any but a small minority think drugs are OK or a bit of a laugh is ludicrous.

Ann Widdecombe, not Cameron, speaks for the vast majority of Tories.

Nikki, he was fifteen for god's sake.

If smoking a spliff at aged 15 is the only 'mark' on Cameron's record then he is fairing a damn sight better than many politicians of all parties of the past twenty years when it comes to private misdimenours

It is amazing to behold that some individuals appear to believe that Cameron is above any critiscism.It amazes me to hear people argue that Cameron was only 15 when he allegedly used cannabis. The fact is that other youths from less priviliged backgrounds would have been up before the beak had they committed identical misdemeanours.

Cameron is product of an extremely priviliged elite.As Conservatives we instinctively prefer the personal qualities of an individual rater than wealth as an indicator of worth.DC could however use his position to accept his wrong doing and open up a wide reaching debate about the effects of Drugs upon society.

Obviously coming from his background Cameron has little or no undersatnding of inner city life.He need however only to speak with Ian Duncan Smith and Tim Montgomerie to clarify the issues.

Watching Cameron and his friends constantly bang on about politicians having a right to a past is comical.The Conservative Party should be concerntrating upon the effect of drugs in the wider social context.Cannabis and it's use can not be ignored.It's recreational use is harmful and our leader should say so.

The recreational use of alcohol is far more dangerous, and seems to be the root cause of anti-social behaviour come Friday, Saturday night. I don't believe I have ever had been verbally abused by people high on cannabis but I can't say the same for alcohol. We have to admit that as a society we have a set of double standards when it comes to the 'recreational' use of alcohol and cannabis.

Alcohol and the problems it causes are severe but being abused by drunks is not really what I am concerned about. Cannabis is in itself dangerous.It is my belief that you are likely to find young people who both use cannabis and abuse alcohol on many of our inner city estates.Do we tell these people to continue to use cannabis as it is harmless and will not lead to harder drug taking and ,in any case, alcohol is more serious?

Is that the pitch? drug taking and abuse of alcohol will fracture communities and ruin lives.The stigma and informal control we had in the past has been broken.This together with other enlightened thinking has led to broken families.The UK is now the leader in teenage pregnacy and welfarism.The individuals so trapped are vulnerable.Apologising for Drug use and alcohol abuse will not help these people.

DC should concern himself with these real issues rather than worrying about his own image.

The way this is going, we'll soon have stories like: 'David Cameron this evening admitted that at the age of twelve he was found to have his shirt untucked by a member of staff at school. He was told to tuck it in and immediately complied with the instruction. Mr. Cameron asks for him and his family to be left in peace at this difficult time, but would like to emphasise that he in no way condones pupils failing to wear tucked-in shirts at schools. This will not affect his judgement on political issues in the future.'

Silly? Blatantly. But no less ridiculous than some of the comments that have been appearing on here today. It is important to remember that DC is the legitimate, elected Leader of our Party. Without our support he will not succeed and we must all give him that support.

It need not be unqualified in nature, and it is appropriate to make our views known on policy issues and to chastise the leadership helpfully where necessary. But our overwhelming stance must be one of support for DC and the leadership team.

Without the grassroots, the leadership is nothing. But without the leadership, the grassroots are nothing. It is only through combining our strengths that we will win the next General Election.

For once the Home Secretary has it absolutely right when he says that this is a 'so what?' moment.

Nearly everybody is missing the point.

It doesn't matter that Cameron was only 15 when he was involved in a scandal at Eton. When he stood for the leadership he had an ABSOLUTE DUTY to inform the Conservative membership of this potentially embarrassing incident in his past.

If, as some people suppose, nobody cares about these matters nowadays what had he to fear? He should have spoken up boldly. Everybody, myself included, would have admired his honesty.

No. He withheld this information because he knew that it would count against him and in so doing he has proved himself to be untrustworthy.

The big question now is, how much else is there to come out?

I think Mr Cameron needs to make a full and frank statement about this matter. It will not go away.

It is important to remember that DC is the legitimate, elected Leader of our Party.

Not as far as I am concerned, and for the reason stated above.

If the grassroots had known the truth about Cameron's past his feet wouldn't have touched the ground.

Alex Forsyth - you talk like Cameron has committed a murder! It was known during the leadership campaign that Cameron had a 'normal university experience' and he refused to deny having taken drugs in the past.

To suggest that this makes his election illegitimate demonstrates flawed reasoning. I do not believe DC has ever lied about his past and I believe that through the statements he has issued he has told the grassroots and the general public everything they need to know.

up before the beak if he wasn't so posh? I think not. Cannabis possession will get you a caution, or less. I know, from my own family experience.

It was known during the leadership campaign that Cameron had a 'normal university experience' and he refused to deny having taken drugs in the past.

That's strange. I had a perfectly happy time at university and never once misused any form of 'substance'. As far as Im aware the same would have been said about Mrs Thatcher, Hague, Howard, maybe even Major - oh no - he never went to university.

By what perverted logic does 'normal university experience' imply illegal drug activity?

Anyway. Let's get back on track. Whatever ambiguous waffle DC came out two years ago with he never admitted to this. It's coming out in the wash now, but no surprise there.

If he had nothing to fear from the membership why didn't he come clean?

Oh yes he was dishonest, whatever you say. Now what's that they say in the police caution?

"You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention...

Cameron says politicians have a right to a private life before politics. Politician do NOT have the right to break the law before politics. It's not good enough to talk about his only being fifteen. Did he stop then? How many times did he break the law? When did he stop breaking the law? He now wants tighter penalties for drug possession. When did he decide drugs were bad? How long after he last took them?

WE have a right to know. HE has no right to silence on breaking the law.

He's reported as saying he hasn't taken Class A drugs since he entered Parliament.

So what exactly does that mean?

Worst case scenario.

1) He took Class A drugs before he entered Parliament.

2) He's smoked Pot since.

We need answers and we're not getting them.

He got the leadership under false pretences. Time to rectify an injustice.

By what perverted logic does 'normal university experience' imply illegal drug activity?

When the question asked is 'did you take any drugs at University?' and the answer is 'I had a normal University experience.' DC could have denied it there and then but because he is basically an honest man he gave a statement which clearly suggested the answer.

He's reported as saying he hasn't taken Class A drugs since he entered Parliament.
As a straight answer to a direct question asking if he'd taken class A drugs whilst in Parliament.

He got the leadership under false pretences. Time to rectify an injustice.
If you're suggesting that he should resign over this then that is absurd. Politicians survive much, much more than this without barely a scratch on their reputation.

People are not perfect. We have to accept that this Party has never had and never will have a perfect leader. Nor will any other Party.

What we do have is a talented, intelligent leader with incredibly potential. And that's more than Labour, who are losing the King of Spin and gaining arguably the most dour PM for many, many years, and the Lib Dems, who don't really have a leaders at all any more.

I think cannabis use is very stupid, mostly because of the connection, for some people, with psychosis. Ironically I turned it down at University because at that time I thought I wanted to be an MP. But surely the latter point was superceded when 50% of the then Shadow Cabinet, about 5 years ago, admitted to having smoked cannabis on at least one occasion. As that was my generation I thought - that's ironic, they've got away with it. But I am glad I didn't because mental illness later surfaced in my family, and in retrospect there was a small chance that it might have made me very ill. Or at least enough of a chance that I would never have done it on those grounds if I knew then what I know now.

Alex Forstye is a fraud as it cannot be this which is eating him up about Cameron; he must just hate lots of other things about him. It was absolutely clear in the leadership campaign when drug use came up that he must have used something, and he actually got a lot of credit for standing up to the press by refusing to say. If Alex did not conclude that then, he must have been smoking something himself at the time.

What do we now know extra? If the biographer has got it right (a) he was 15 and (b) 7 others got expelled but he didn't. That means he was not a ring leader and had not supplied it to anyone else (believe me, he would have been out like the others if he had). He went on to conspicuous academic success which suggests, even if there was further occasional use, that he did not become the sort of dopehead that cannabis can make people - the tendency towards total apathy and legarthy, so harmful to hard work and ambition, which is the other main reason apart from mental health that I am so against it.

So, he should not be proud of it (he doesn't seem to be so to me) but he has absolutely no reason to respond other than he has, and there has been no duplicity.

As for the candidates' declaration - anyone who takes that seriously is delusional. The best answer was Alan Clarke's when asked whether there were any skeletons - it was something like "plenty, I'm sure" which ended the conversation. In my book only a criminal record, financial impropriety and never having apologised for competing in the 1980 Olympics (with disregard to the inevitable suffering being facilitated and caused to brave Soviet dissidents as a result) are sufficiently grave to disqualify a candidate in themselves - and it seems I was in a minority in regarding at least one of those as a disqualification.

But if Cameron has rolled back intrusion into politician's lives before politics, then more power to his elbow. There must be a few capable youngsters now wondering whether to go into politics who will be less discouraged from doing so as a result.

He got the leadership under false pretences. Time to rectify an injustice.

I have to question your motivations on this, Alex - you seem to be a little fixated. DC's answer this morning was perfectly satisfactory and he should not go back on this. Do you really think that if he answers one question for the media on this, they will stop? Answer "did the incident in the book happen, Mr Cameron", and what will the next question be? It's right to draw a line, and right not to feed the beast. They'll keep pushing for the next answer and the next - it's how the media works, they hunt as a pack. Hold the line.

As for your ridiculous assertions that the membership should demand to know, should change the leader etc., please do grow up.

I've had a bit of a political weekend. I've been to a local exec meeting, a CWO-hosted poolicy seminar, produced a 4-page ward newsletter and... spent today with four colleagues ("grassroots Conservatives", so to speak, in your language) delivering over 2000 leaflets promoting great achievements of our council on e.g. affordable housing.

My point is that none of my colleagues today raised the DC story with me at all, so great is the "grassroots concern" you speak of.

(BTW, reading the above does rather give the impression I have no life, doesn't it! I guess this is it from here to May!)

I have rarely read such sanctimonious drivel in years as some of the posts tonight. Everybody makes mistakes, especially when they are young and if we took this attitude then there would be no business leaders, nobody running anything, never mind politicians.

It is widely suggested and may even be proved that taking softer drugs such as B list cannabis can lead to taking harder A list substances.Perhaps being caught at 15 was sufficient for Dave not to make that progression.

When the question asked is 'did you take any drugs at University?' and the answer is 'I had a normal University experience.' DC could have denied it there and then but because he is basically an honest man he gave a statement which clearly suggested the answer.

Wriggle wriggle.

'I had a normal University experience.' is no kind of sensible answer to the question 'did you take any drugs at University?'

The answer is 'yes' or 'no'. After all, as I've said, I had a normal university experience. I didn't take drugs though.

Cameron copped out of answering the question and thus showed dishonesty.

But you've inadvertantly opened a whole new can of worms. Are you suggesting that he took drugs when he was 15, learned nothing from his experience, and was still taking drugs three or four years later at university?

Not just one experimental puff, it seems, but something much much worse? Long-term criminal activity.

I mean, that is what you're implying, isn't it?


Has Alex perhaps got an agenda? Hhmmm.. I think so!

Alex Forsyth has revealed himself in many of his comments in recent days to be no friend whatsoever to the Conservative party as well as being an unbearably pompous sancimonous prig. It is appalling that a man like that was ever considered a suitable candidate for the Conservative party. I hope whatever Association has the misfortune to have him as a member encourages him to resign forthwith.

Yes, I think Alex has gone a little over the top on this issue. Persistence mixed with spite is not a good combination. He does seem to be rather bitter about something. Apparently he doesn't see David Cameron's election to the leadership as legitimate because of this issue... that's scraping the bottom of the barrel methinks.

I didn't vote for Cameron - but it was clear at the time of his election as leader that he wouldn't deny he had taken drugs, even hard drugs. From all his statements it was clear to all that he has.

He didn't hide anything, merely limited the scope of what he was willing to talk about, to his time in public life. Which I think is fair.

Can all posters wanting to criticise him give full disclosure; smoking under 16, sex under 16, any drug taking; speeding; parking fines; littering; etc.

My view on this issue is rather different, and by the way I voted for DC.

If DC was involved in one single unfortunate incident when 15 then I say that should be overlooked as a childish error.

But the point has arisen about this statement 'I had a normal university experience'. Is he saying that he continued to take drugs after his chastening experience at Eton?

If so I agree that the matter becomes much more serious because ongoing drugs use cannot be lightly brushed aside. I for one would not have voted for him on that basis although I would not have been deterred simply because he might have tried it once at university and never repeated it.

The motivations of those who criticise DC are irrelevant. A potentially dangerous issue has been raised and if we do not consider how it is to be tackled the press will take it out of our hands.

A good start would be for DC to make a full and frank admission now - long before the Gneral Election - of all incidents that might be dragged up and used against him. He should then leave it to the membership to decide whether or not to overlook such matters.

Personally I've never had any sort of drugs problem. I think it's a vile habit and I can't undertant why any normal person would want to get involved at all.

I don't believe I have ever had been verbally abused by people high on cannabis

That's alright then...so long as you don't meet anyone rendered schizophrenic by use of cannabis, crack cocaine or other substance abuse you can safely ignore those who do.

How many of our recent murderers have turned out to have been dope-heads who have a long track record of substance-abuse ?

Probably best to use the Iranian Treatment

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker