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Legalising weed won't benefit smokers

GETTING HIGH: The legalisation of cannabis has become an election issue

NOW, IF the Liberal Democrats think that by calling for the legalisation of cannabis in their election manifesto they have cornered the market in the Rasta vote, they better stop smoking whatever it is they are smoking and think again. Cah I and I and I and I don't work for no CIA. Skeen? Just like James Comey, we don't work for no FBI neither - Ya get me, doh?

And let me tell you why.

You see back when I was at university over thirty years ago there used to be this dirty hippy dude called Coat Man. That was what everybody called him on account of this other bloke called Cave Man who had been at the university as a student previously and now wondered the campus purposeless, homeless and regardless.

Now, Cave Man was a proper animal. I'm telling ya. He howled like an animal and growled like an animal. And stank like an animal. He should have had a leash on him the way he behaved. But he didn't, because he was nobody's pet. More like some wild animal.


Photo credit: Splifr

Cave Man was from Iran and legend had it that he and his elder brother had been studying at the university when the doo-doo hit the fan back home, the Shah was toppled and the Ayatollah took over and the middle classes who used to rule and still called Iran 'Persia', lost all their wealth of dubious origins. Cave Man and his brother found themselves without funds to continue their education and somehow Cave Man became a Cave Man for real with the rags and billy club to match. His brother on the other hand was always elegantly presented and wafted eau de cologne whenever I passed by him. Don't ask me how come.

Anyway, Cave Man mark II became Coat Man, not least because he never once took off his army surplus overcoat. Not once in the three years that he was on campus did I ever see him without it. Whether in the winter or summer, come rain or come shine. The rumour was that he showered in it and went to bed in it and had it on the one time he managed to get his leg over... a... a... Lego Versumbird.

Now, being a hippy is one thing and not bathing too tuff is another thing. But when you go to all the trouble of growing all that hair, you gotta wash and go. Simple t'ings. Otherwise, like the old Rasta man who lived in a shoe next door to Humpty Dumpty, you're going to find four and twenty blackbirds nesting in your locks.

Look, I sat behind Coat Man in one lecture and I got too close up and impersonal with the oil slick on his head. I can tell you, it was disgusting. Having said that, a lot of these teenage dirtbags are some of the brightest students going. It's just that they smoke so much weed they don't take care of their personal hygiene too tuff. True true.


Photo credit: The Leaf Online

Coat Man was always smoking weed. He was one of those dudes who believed that you just keep smoking until you drop. And if he wasn't smoking weed he'd be on the farm down the road looking for magic mushrooms in the undergrowth. That is how I remember him spending most of his time as an undergraduate.

By now you're probably wondering what the point of this anecdote is and what the link between Coat Man and the Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron is. And where Peter Tosh comes into it. Again. And what about the CIA and FBI?

Okay, let me try and break it down.

Coat Man was a smelly but otherwise silent figure in lectures. He seemed to be in his own little world. In cloud cuckoo land skipping down the yellow brick road. He was out with the fairies and it was hard to tell whether he was so high he could kiss the sky or so low he could kiss his ass. He wasn't interested in the lecturer's droning and had an air of superiority about him as if he didn't need to listen because he knew it all, even better than the lecturer.

Now, the only time Coat Man piped up was during a lecture at King's College, Cambridge, about the legalisation of cannabis, with the great moral philosopher Bernard Williams who I was privileged to have as a tutor in dem times. Anyway, it was like Coat Man woke up at the very mention of spliff and piped up with his contribution:


PROPOSALS: Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron

"Nah, you don't wanna legalise it, if you do that the Government will just slap a tax on it."

Remember, this was over thirty years ago. At the time, I thought Coat Man was mad. He who smoked anything green in his postcode was fighting down what my mentor Peter Tosh had been fighting for since his spar Bunny Wailer had to keep battering down sentence for a little bit of herb.

But now, what Coat Man was saying all them years ago has come to fruition.

You see, the Liberal Democrats are not calling for a legalisation of herb from the goodness of their hearts or because they love the Rasta man vibrations (or as they say in the LibDem West Country heartlands, the 'rarse-taman vibrations'). Nah blood. Just like Coat Man said, they're looking to tax it if they get in. And they reckon (at a conservative estimate) that they could pull in a billion pounds worth of extra revenue for the exchequer if ganja was legal.

Now, which 'rarse-taman' is going to go for that. Which 'rarse-taman' is going to allow the LibDems to kill off the weed that they have been carefully cultivating in the hills and valleys of north London, south London, Handsworth and Moss Side these last decades, to go legal and to pay for the privilege? Nah, bruv, it don't work like that.

First of all, the Lib Dems don't tell us exactly how much tax they are going to slap on a twenty pack of spliffs. And whether there will be a difference between the bush herb and the purest sativa. Also, they're going to have to come forward with the details of what that extra billion of revenue is going to be spent on. Like I done said already: RARSE-TA DON'T WORK FOR NO CIA... or FBI for that matter.

Finally, who is going to take care of the people in the community when weed lick off them heads? Like Bill Clinton, I know what I'm talking about. But none of unoo can prove that I have ever inhaled.

Dotun Adebayo is Britain’s most listened-to black radio talk show host. He presents Up All Night on BBC Radio 5 live Thursdays through Sundays on 909/693 MW, The Sunday Night Special on BBC 94.9FM and Reggae Time on BBC London 94.9FM on Saturday evenings. Tune in if you’re ranking!

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