STORIES

Margaret Thatcher Advisor: Afro-Caribbeans Give Cannabis to Babies

By David Jenison on January 10, 2017

The U.K.’s National Archives released several government documents at the end of 2016, but one memo in particular stood out to the cannabis community. Carolyn Sinclair, a senior policy advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, claimed the Afro-Caribbean community in England was so crazy for cannabis that they got their babies stoned. Thatcher, of course, was a natural ally for Ronald Reagan's renewed War on Drugs. 

In the July 1989 memo, Sinclair wrote, “Afro-Caribbeans rarely take 'hard' drugs such as heroin, but regard cannabis as part of life. It is given to babies. The fact that cannabis is illegal is widely regarded as unjust. Most Afro-Caribbeans do not think that they, as a group, have a drug problem…. But there are good reasons to fearing that 'crack' will get a hold on Afro-Caribbeans in a way that other hard drugs have not.” 

After writing this memo, Sinclair was naturally put in charge of promoting racial equality in England.

A similar document dump forced David Cameron’s chief policy advisor, Oliver Letwin, to apologize for discouraging investment in black entrepreneurs claiming they would spend all the money on “discos and drugs.” 

Fittingly, the latest document release also showed efforts by the Thatcher Administration to crack down on “acid house parties.” In its effort to prohibit raves, the government passed the Entertainments (Increased Penalties) Act that subjected party organizers to £20,000 fines and/or six months in prison. When this didn’t stop the party, the government followed with the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 that allowed law enforcement to seize equipment. 


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