Thursday, July 12, 2007

Discussion and recommended reading

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Anonymous said...

Greens slam Brown's pot plans
(Thursday 19 July 2007)

THE Green Party warned Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Thursday that his plan to reclassify cannabis as a class B substance amounted to a "drug dealers' charter."

Under Mr Brown's direction, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is to undertake a review of the drug's current status.

In 2004, the drug was downgraded from Class B to Class C, alongside substances such as anabolic steroids, making it a largely non-arrestable offence.

The Prime Minister is believed to be in favour of a more punitive approach to drug use.

But Green Party drugs spokesman Shane Collins, who sits on the board of the Lambeth Community Police Consultative Group, branded the proposal "a bold step into the 1970s."

He argued that upping the penalties for cannabis would "fail to separate supply of cannabis from class A drugs such as heroin.

"This mixing of supply gives the UK more than twice the rate of heroin addiction compared to Holland, where cannabis supply is legal and separate from heroin," noted Mr Collins.

"Money from cannabis and other drugs funds gangs. Fifteen-year-olds get murdered over £200 cannabis deals.

Reclassification to class B will stop none of this. It is a drug dealers' charter."

He insisted: "The Misuse of Drugs Act has been failing us since 1971. Maybe Mr Brown should leave his accountants' paradise and come and visit some of the estates from hell his drug laws are helping to produce.

"We need to regulate and control the sale of drugs, not gift it to an uncontrolled and sometimes violent criminal sales force."

Ms Smith herself spent on Thursday fielding a media storm in a teacup over her cannabis use at university in the 1980s.

The contrite minister told BBC radio that she had been "wrong" to try it and had "not particularly" enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

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