Under the Black Flag

End the War

The Trinity College Historical Society, the debating arm of Trinity College, Dublin, kindly invited yours truly to open the debate season by defending the motion “This House would get high.”  Alas, I had to refuse, as I was leaving for America, but the motion did sound interesting.  Once upon a time I was the greatest antidrug campaigner this side of Mexico, until I grew up and became very wise.  I now believe not only that the war on drugs is unwinnable, but that it is the cause of most of the ills supposedly caused by drugs.

But first I must declare an interest, as most phonies declare to show themselves whiter than white.

Drugs were no problem whilst I was growing up in the 50’s.  At least not among the jocks and swells I knew.  The ones who took them were actors, artists, and other exotic types.  Even in Vietnam I never touched the stuff.  I was an athlete and a boozer, and drugs, as far as I was concerned, were for losers.  I first tried cocaine in the late 70’s, when the sons of one of the richest Greek ship owners offered, and insisted I take it.  I obviously liked it, and after a while I began to buy it myself.  In 1984 I was busted in London, pleaded guilty, and received a four-month prison sentence.  My friend Peregrine Worsthorne, editor of the Sunday Telegraph, wrote to my Spectator editor Charles Moore that, however it would...

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