Anti-drug campaigners slam Prince Harry for sending a ‘worrying message to young people’ after he claimed in the latest interview that cannabis ‘really helped’ his mental health – before describing the ‘positive’ experience of the psychedelic drug ayahuasca
Campaigners have criticized Prince Harry after he spoke again about using drugs, saying he is sending a disturbing message to young people.
In a live-streamed interview, the Duke of Sussex talked about how using cannabis, a Class B drug, “really helped” him deal with mental health problems following the death of his mother.
He also spoke of his “positive” experience with the psychedelic drug ayahuasca, saying it “gave me a feeling of relaxation, release, comfort, a lightness that I could hold on to for a while.”
The duke, 38, made the comments in an interview with therapist Dr Gabor Mate, an outspoken proponent of drug decriminalization who has reportedly used Amazonian ayahuasca to treat patients with mental illness.
Harry told him: ‘[Cocaine] didn’t do anything for me, it was more of a social thing and definitely gave me a sense of belonging, I think I probably felt different than how I felt too, which was kind of the point. Marijuana is different, that really helped me.”
Candid: Duke spoke about using drugs during the interview and said he sends a disturbing message to young people
Fiona Spargo-Mabbs, who founded a drug education charity in the name of her son Daniel (pictured) after he died of an accidental MDMA overdose at age 16, described the comments as ‘concerning’
Fiona Spargo-Mabbs, who founded a drug education charity in her son Daniel’s name after he died of an accidental MDMA overdose at age 16, described the comments as “disturbing.”
“Our work is with under-18s and our concern is that this could send a signal that young people think drugs will help them with things that are really difficult,” she said.
“It’s a time when a lot of them are struggling with their mental health. The number has really increased and access to support services is a real struggle as the services are incredibly long.
‘Unfortunately, young people are getting the message somewhere that drugs will solve their problems and anything that reinforces that worries us. Using drugs as a coping strategy is more likely to lead to dependency than other motivations, because that becomes the way you deal with things.”
She added of Harry: “He’s been very open about his drug use, which is one thing, but the statement that it helped him worries young people.”
Ffiona (right) said: ‘Our work is with under-18s and our concern is that this could send a signal that young people think drugs will help them with things that are really difficult’
TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp also criticized the duke, tweeting: “When you have a huge platform you don’t talk about the use of illegal drugs, the trade that kills people.” In his memoir Spare, Harry admitted to 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 call for cannabis legalization in the UK.
The CannaClub said on Twitter: ‘Definitely time to decriminalize.
“If it’s good enough for our Prince Harry, it’s good enough for millions of people. Listen to the science. Cannabis is good for so many ailments.’
Clear Cannabis Law Reform, which is campaigning to make regulated cannabis legally available by prescription and licensed adult retail outlets, also retweeted a link to an article about Harry.
Yesterday, a charity berated Dr Mate for diagnosing Harry as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) 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 up to the individual to decide whether to make their neurodiversity public.”