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Harmon Joins In The Cabinet Confessions: I Smoked Pot

The Times, July 21, 2007

by Sarah Birke

Harriet Harman yesterday became the ninth Cabinet minister to admit to having smoked cannabis. On Thursday Ms Harman, the Labour deputy leader, had refused to comment, but after eight members of the Cabinet said that they had tried the drug when young, she owned up as well.

Ms Harman told GMTV yesterday morning: "I did, when I was at university, smoke cannabis once or twice."

She was speaking 24 hours after Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, said that while at university 25 years ago she had smoked cannabis and that she had been wrong to do so. Ms Smith is in charge of a review of the decision in 2004 to downgrade cannabis from a Class B to a Class C drug.

The tally of ministerial admissions reached ten later when Baroness Ashton of Upholland, the Leader of the Lords, said that she had taken cannabis while at university. The ministers who had on Thursday followed Ms Smith's lead in admitting that they had tried the drug included Alistair Darling, Ruth Kelly and Hazel Blears.

Ms Harman, Leader of the House, said that she had not taken the drug since university: "I have indulged in the odd glass of wine but not cannabis."

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