"Any form of drug use - you don't turn a blind eye to it at all" said Patel.
This week, the Conservative government seems to be gearing up for a general election by attempting to look ‘tough on crime’.
The new Home Secretary Priti Patel has said that she wants criminals to “literally feel terror”.
She added: “Any form of drug use – you don’t turn a blind eye to it at all. It has a corrosive impact on people and communities,” she said.
Around her cabinet table though, there are at least seven people who have admitted to taking illegal drugs – one of whom is her boss Boris Johnson.
None have criminal records as none were caught with the drug. Most are white and middle or upper class and therefore much less likely to have been searched by police.
If they had been caught, technically they could have been sentenced to up to seven years in prison for possesion of cocaine or five years in prison for possesion of cannabis.
However, with cocaine, it’s more likely they’d have got a caution or a fine of £1,000 or more. Either a caution or a fine would bar them from many professions and from travelling to the USA for five years.
With cannabis, they’re likely to have just got a warning if it was their first offence although people have been charged.
Priti Patel presumably considers this the kind of “blind eye” she no longer wants to be turned as it doesn’t instill enough “terror”.
Here’s seven of Patel’s cabinet colleagues who have owned up to illegal drug use.
2. Michael Gove
As a young journalist, Gove says he took drugs on several occasions.
3. Andrea Leadsom
Leadsom smoked cannabis at university.
4. Dominic Raab
Raab also smoked cannabis at university. If he had got a criminal record from this, would he still have been able to pursue his legal career? And would he be where he is now?
5. Esther McVey
McVey is another one who has admitted to smoking cannabis in her youth.
6. Theresa Villiers
The Environment Secretary said she “had about three attempts of cannabis at university, only the last time I managed to inhale and was sick”.
Like Raab, if Villiers had been caught her legal career could have suffered and she may not be where she is now.
7. James Cleverly
The Tory Party chair has admitted to “dabbling” with marijuana. After university, Cleverly joined the British Army.
The government is currently trying to implement a no tolerance drugs policy in the British Army whereby soldiers sacked for drugs use can no longer be readmitted if they pass a fresh test.
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