Am I the only one who fears the effect drug abuse may have had on Harry – and our society?

Am I the only one who fears the effect drug abuse may have had on Harry – and our society? By Peter Hitchens.

You can hardly spend ten minutes in Britain these days without being told — by some defeatist police chief, or by some greedy lobbyist for legal drugs — that there is a ‘war on drugs’, and that it has ‘failed’.

If the British Ingrowing Toenail Support Association, or the Retired Lighthouse Keepers’ League publishes a vague two-page document calling for cannabis legalisation, the BBC will call it a ‘report’ and shove it near the top of its bulletins.

By contrast, if a serious academic study says that marijuana use is increasingly correlated with incurable mental illness, most British media will bury or ignore the story.

The argument is always the same. Decades of severe and cruel prohibition have failed to stop the use of illegal drugs. So let’s legalise them. Millions of people — I know some of them and they appear to be intelligent and awake — accept this tripe. …

And this could be why the most astonishing revelations in Prince Harry’s silly book have made so little impact. So let me suggest that they are more important than most people seem to think they are.

By his own account, one of the close heirs to the throne of a major, law-governed country has been breaking that country’s drug laws since he was at school. If he has stopped doing so, he does not say. He was certainly still smoking marijuana two and a half years ago by his own account.

This is a person who has had, for much of his life, pretty close police protection. Did the officers charged with his safety, who must surely have been aware of where he went, what he did and who he met, not know?

There is very little doubt that several members of the Royal Family, courtiers, Palace servants and senior members of the Armed Services must have been aware of it too. Did they believe it did not matter?

Can we be expected to believe that the elite school which Harry attended did not also know?

The law of the land and the prince:

Remember that the possession of marijuana, under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act, carries a maximum prison sentence of five years and an unlimited fine. If he had broken any other parts of the criminal law, would he have been immune from the attentions of the police? If so, it would be disgusting.

The monarchy is the fount of laws and honours. The royal signature turns pieces of parchment into the law of the land.

The royal Crown is on the cap badges of every police officer and hangs over the judges’ bench in every courtroom. I might add that every prison is also ‘His Majesty’s’ and is emblazoned with the Royal Arms.

The Crown is the law, and the law is the Crown, and it is the law that makes Charles King and makes Harry more important than most other young men in the realm.

And yet the Spare to the Throne blithely boasts, in a publication he cannot blame on anyone else, of his long career of deliberate, conscious law-breaking. …

Maybe that accounts for his character?

We have all read and perhaps laughed at his account of the time he ended up holding conversations with a bathroom bin and a lavatory pan after taking ‘magic mushrooms’. But it is not very funny, in those families where a young member has become irreversibly mentally ill following the use of marijuana.

For them, the onset of wild rages, the persecution mania, the educational failure, the character transformation, and then the delusions, are anything but amusing.

Nor are the powerful, life-changing anti-psychotics these ruined children need to take for the rest of their days.

In many cases these young men used dope in the hopelessly wrong belief that it is ‘soft’ —  a view held by many opinion-formers. This belief destroys lives.

We should be just as horrified by marijuana use as we are about heroin or cocaine. Could it even be that Harry’s erratic, angry and mistrustful behaviour, his personality change between his Sandhurst days and now, are connected with his drug use? …

Not like the Queen, who stuck to alcohol:

The shared rite of the rolled spliff passed from hand to hand and mouth to mouth was the unholy communion of the post-1960s generation. Their unholy trinity, likewise, was sex, drugs and rock and roll.

While the late Queen Elizabeth continued to reign with her head full of notions of duty, service, family, patience and forbearance, her subjects, and then her own family, were seduced into a completely different world.

It was a revolution in the head which separated effort from reward, and dissolved the old idea that pleasure should be deferred until duty was done, in a cloud of sickly sweet dope smoke.

Drugs corrupt, and addiction can make a fool of anyone.