Michael Gove’s cocaine admission is not so scandalous after all, and drugs laws need to change state
Michael Gove’s admission of cocaine use has sparked a debate on the acceptability of politicians having dabbled with drugs in their youth before their later ambitions to become the prime minister.
The 51-year-old Environment Secretary stirred national debate earlier this week when he came clean to the Daily Mail for taking drugs during the 1990s while he was a young journalist.
The statement sent shockwaves around society which led to calls for the Conservative to withdraw from the race to Number 10 Downing Street. He said this week on the Andrew Marr Show he was ‘fortunate’ not to have gone to prison.
However, in a snap survey this week, students and staff at Brunel University cohesively agreed that past drug use should not totally impede on the possibility at attaining the role of prime minister.
Fiona Harrington, aged 62, Brunel’s librarian suggested that Mr Gove’s past actions should not significantly impact on his career given his young age at the time, although she added that his admission shouldn’t be brushed over either.
However, student Sandra Popescu aged 20 suggested that regardless of his previous drug use his hypocritical decision to implement a ban on teachers who had used drugs an example of his poor integrity, and incapability to become prime minister.
Meanwhile, Baroness Warsi has called out the Tory for ‘’hypocrisy of the highest order’’ demanding Mr Gove stand down after the drug admission - specifically, scrutinising his 1991 article in the Times which attacked middle class professionals using A-class drugs.
Mr Gove’s admission has opened up the national debate around the criminalisation and morality surounding drug use in the country. As of 2001, the report ‘Alcohol, cannabis, ecstasy and cocaine: Drugs of reasoned choice amongst young adult recreational drug users in England puts forward that 69.9% of 18-25 year olds have smoked cannabis. However, ‘hard-core’ use of cocaine is massively lower at 24.6%.
Mohammed Rahman aged 29, Brunel University Placement Advisor, argues that a more nuanced distinction between the use of a B- class drug like marijuana compared to an A-class drug cocaine be considered. He said he thought that marijuana should be legalised.
Although, a official comment from the student president of the Union of Brunel Ranjeet Rathore, 22 – who stated that Michael Gove’s past will affect the United Kingdom’s international relations by implicating the country's support for cocaine use, as a prime minster is seen as the embodiment of the values of a country.