The drugs debate continues. Some will say that I have misunderstood the thrust, the tendency of the original 15,000-word salvo; others may say that some subsequent participants did not thoroughly read or understand Theodore Dalrymple's 1997 contribution (he does tend to over-write, I grant you).
Misunderstanding is an important factor. I remember the confused glee of a group of 15-year-olds when cannabis was reclassified as a Class C drug - they were part of a project I was involved with, rehabilitating youngsters for college and work (lovely kids, essentially). They didn't understand the rubric, but they thought they understood the message that dear hip Tony Blair was sending. Though the message was not aimed directly at them, of course, but to their middle-class fellows. Who gives a damn about pasty, ill-nourished white trash, self-protectively aggressive black thuglets-in-training, and Muslim kids for whom only born-again Islam is the way off bud? They don't vote, much less contribute to Party funds.
And when cannabis was re-elevated to the minor peerage, it was ostensibly for the benefit of young people, but perhaps also - perhaps more - for the readers of the Daily Mail.
Though it may be step-by-step rather than in a single bound, crossing the Rubicon is a momentous decision. Though it may be slice by slice, the salami will get eaten. Policy-makers, policy-proposers, note that you may be more sensitive to the faults of present arrangements than to the defects of the alterations you propose; and a process may be easier to start than halt.