Controversial Mail columnist Peter Hitchens to debate on campus
Author and Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens will argue against the legalisation of cannabis in an event jointly organised by the Debating Society and The Badger. The event is scheduled to take place on 7th April.
Hitchens, a frequent panelist on the BBC’s Question Time, is a social conservative who believes that addiction is a “fantasy”, and that users of illicit substances should be subject to harsher penalties.
According to Hitchens, cannabis is a “mind-blowing terror threat”, partly responsible for motivating the Paris shootings and Boston Marathon bombings.
He claims drug decriminalisation has been pursued since the 1970s in “all but name”, and concludes that the results have been “terrible”.
Hitchens debated cannabis legalisation at the University of Exeter in 2012, and was declared the winner by a slim majority of the audience.
Norman Baker, former Liberal Democrat MP and Home Office Minister, will argue the pro-legalisation side of the debate.
Two student speakers, to be selected by open auditions, will sit alongside the famous panelists.
In 2012 the University of Sussex made national news when a Conservative MP giving a controversial talk was allegedly “attacked with rocks”.
The President of the Debating Society, Paul Millar, said there would not be a repeat of that episode: “There will be full security at the Hitchens debate, so any protesters can do one!”.
The Badger understands that Peter Hitchens will be safely sequestered in Millar’s student house the night after the debate.
According to the Debating Society, the Orwell Prize-winning journalist warmly welcomed the invitation to stay over.
The debate will be held in Fulton A at 6pm on 7th April.