Monday, August 16, 1999 Published at 18:20 GMT 19:20 UK
Churchman calls for cannabis 'lessons'
Bishop Holloway says he was "disappointed" by cannabis
One of Scotland's most senior churchmen is calling for young people to be taught how to use recreational drugs responsibly.
He said he was in favour of an open debate on the subject and attacked what he described as a hysterical attitude towards drugs.
Bishop Holloway told BBC Radio Scotland: "It seems to me that as long as it's handled in a responsible way and we teach our young people to live moderately and use these recreational substances moderately, then that is a wise policy."
He is thought to be the first senior churchman publicly to admit taking an illegal substance and to call for its decriminalisation.
Bishop Holloway said: "The issue is so fraught with emotion and misunderstanding that we need an objective body that will look at it scientifically, morally, politically and help us all get a way forward beyond all the hysteria which characterises the debate at the moment."
He said there were signs that society's attitude to cannabis was changing from the sentences given to people who "plead guilty to possession or use of cannabis, but have been doing so for personal reasons associated with the alleviation of pain".
Mr Kennedy also told the BBC a number of police officers had publicly criticised the amount of time spent on dealing with certain drug-related crimes.
Strathclyde Police Chief Constable John Orr said: "My view is quite simply this: 'Zero tolerance on drug taking is the answer.'
"Any move away from what in truth at the moment is a crime would need to be very carefully thought about."
Alasdair Ramsey, the head of pressure group Scotland Against Drugs, said the bishop's comments were "ill-informed".
He added: "It's important that people in the public eye should make statements like this with very carefully considered thought."