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Alistair Darling: ‘I smoked cannabis, but I didn’t like it’

Alistair Darling, the chancellor, has admitted that he was an “occasional” cannabis user in his youth, but claimed he did not enjoy the taste.

Mr Darling, who in 2007 admitted to having tried the drug as a university student, spoke further about his memories of the experience in a magazine interview. The Chancellor told GQ magazine he had tried cannabis out of “curiosity”, but that he was never a regular user of the drug.

In the interview he recalled the experience of feeling “mildly relaxed”, and added: “It was all right, but nothing special. I didn’t like the taste.

“It never did much for me. It was curiosity, really. I was never tempted to try anything stronger.”

Following his original admission in 2007, Downing Street was reported to have said that whether or not ministers answered questions about experiences with drugs was a “personal matter.”

Mr Darling said in the interview he thought it was fair to be asked questions about drugs, saying: “If you’re not honest about it people will assume the worst.”

He added the American public had forgiven Barack Obama, who admitted to having taken cocaine, because “It’s not like he’s taking it now, is it?”

David Cameron, the Conservative party leader, who was alleged to have been part of a group of pupils caught smoking cannabis at Eton, has previously admitted he regrets certain things he has done in the past, but argued that politicians should be allowed a private life, according to the Daily Mail.

Labour MPs including Jacqui Smith and Andy Burnham have previously admitted to using cannabis.


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