UK Conservative MP Crispin Blunt, former Minister for Justice, has "outed" himself as a user of poppers -- alkyl nitrites, a psychoactive inhalant often taken before sex -- and decried his party's plan to class poppers as an illegal drug.
Crispin said that he and many other gay men were "astonished" by the proposal to ban a commonly used substance he considers essentially harmless, and warned the ban "serves to bring the whole law into disrepute." He called the law "foolish" and warned that it would put the distribution of poppers into "the hands of criminals." He added that the plan was "manifestly stupid" and would make current popper uses susceptible to blackmail.
Crispin should be applauded for his call for evidence-based drugs policy, but I have to wonder why he's a Tory if that's what he values. His party, after all, presided over the politicized firing of a top scientist, David Nutt, who, as UK Drugs Czar, refused to redact his scientific judgment that alcohol was more dangerous than marijuana.
"So I'm pleading with the House to then make sure I don't find myself caught in this particular situation.
"But given it relates to my own personal experience, and my experience as a minister for justice with a responsibility for offenders and offender management, I implore my colleagues to, at the very least, if they don't want to be seen to be voting against the Government, please don't be associated with putting this on the statute book.
"It's a real mistake and anything that can be done to accept amendment five would be the sensible thing for us to do and have a look at it again in due and considered time."
Amendment five calls for poppers to be exempted from the Bill.
MP Crispin Blunt admits using poppers while attacking proposed ban [Richard Wheeler and Jack Maidment/MSN]
(Image: UK Ministry of Justice)