Last Sunday (9th April 2017), the journalist Rod Liddle had an item in the Sunday Times in which he said pictures of people incapacitated as a result of synthetic cannabinoids were, for him, a “source of amusement”. I was angry and upset by what he wrote. Here is the text of the letter I sent which was not published in today’s paper (16th April 2017).
What a sad little item by Rod Liddle regarding synthetic cannabinoids such as Spice. He describes as a “source of amusement” photos of distressed and incapacitated people – “zombified imbecilles” as he calls them.
Your sister paper, The Times, reported the very next day the death of a homeless man in his thirties in Birmingham who had been smoking a synthetic cannabinoid. I don’t find that a “source of amusement”.
At Brighton Housing Trust we see, on a daily basis, the shocking damage done to people, from temporary incapacitation, through extreme mental and physical harm, to death due to synthetic cannabinoids. I don’t find that a “source of amusement”.
I don’t find the sight of a paranoid and terrified youth, and his distressed mother, as she drops him off at our rehab, a “source of amusement”.
Making so-called ‘legal highs’ illegal was a great move by government. We have seen a huge decrease in their use as a result, and society and the individuals adversely affected, becoming a little bit more healthy.
Perhaps Rod Liddle might not find it a source of amusement if someone he loves and cares for was at risk of severe, long term damage and even death due to smoking synthetic cannabinoids. He might become grateful that there are people working in drug rehabs up and down the country helping people to overcome their addictions to synthetic cannabinoid, alcohol and other drugs.