What he says about drugs is a concern – campaigners
CAMPAIGNERS have criticised Prince Harry after he spoke again about using drugs, saying he is sending a worrying message to young people.
In a live- streamed interview, the Duke of Sussex told how using cannabis – a Class B drug – ‘really helped’ him to deal with mental health issues following the death of his mother.
He also talked about his ‘positive’ experience of psychedelic drug ayahuasca, saying it ‘brought me a sense of relaxation, release, comfort, a lightness that I managed to hold on to for a period of time’.
The duke, 38, made the comments in an interview with therapist Dr Gabor Mate, an outspoken supporter decriminalising drugs who has allegedly used Amazonian plant ayahuasca to treat patients suffering mental illness.
Harry told him: ‘[Cocaine] didn’t do anything for me, it was more a social thing and gave me a sense of belonging for sure, I think it probably also made me feel different to the way I was feeling, which was kind of the point. Marijuana is different, that actually really did help me.’
Fiona Spargo-Mabbs, who launched a drugs education charity in her son Daniel’s name after he died of an accidental MDMA overdose aged 16, described the comments as ‘concerning’.
‘Our work is with under
18s and our concern is that this can send a message that is going to make young people think that drugs are going to help them with stuff that is really difficult,’ she said.
‘It is a time when a lot of them are struggling with their mental health. Numbers have really increased and access to support services is a real struggle as services are incredibly stretched.’
‘Unfortunately young people are getting the message from somewhere that drugs are going to help with their problems and anything that reinforces that is a concern for us. Using drugs as a coping strategy is more likely to lead to dependence than other motivations because that becomes how you are coping with something.’
She added of Harry: ‘ He has been very public about his drug use, which is one thing, but the statement that it helped him is a concern for young people.’
TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp also criticised the duke, tweeting: ‘If you have a vast platform you don’t mouth off about using illegal drugs, the trade which kills people.’ In his memoir Spare, Harry admitted using cocaine, cannabis and magic mushrooms and was accused of being ‘irresponsible’ and glorifying drugs.
Yesterday his latest comments were seized upon by pro-cannabis campaigners to bolster their calls for it to be legalised in the UK.
The CannaClub said on Twitter: ‘ Definitely time to decriminalise.
‘If it’s good enough for our Prince Harry then it’s good enough for millions of people. Listen to the science. Cannabis is good for so many aliments.’
Clear Cannabis Law Reform, which campaigns for legally regulated cannabis to be available on prescription and at licensed outlets for adults, also retweeted a link to an article about Harry.
Yesterday a charity blasted Dr Mate for diagnosing Harry with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) live on air.
The ADHD Foundation said it was not ‘ethical nor appropriate to tell someone for the first time, in a public interview, that they have ADHD. It is for the individual to decide whether to disclose their neurodiversity’.