Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Consultation on cannabis is not enough

The Prime Minister announced today that the Government is going to conduct a consultation on the reclassification of cannabis. This is welcome but a mere consultation is not enough - it is time for action, and it is time they took responsibility for clearing up the mess they created in the first place!

In 2004, the Labour Government pandered to the liberal establishment and downgraded cannabis from Class B to C despite severe opposition from the police and anti-drugs campaigners.

Unfortunately the drugs section in last week's launch of Iain Duncan Smith's report on "Breakthrough Britain" was largely overlooked. This is a shame because in my view for society to really change then get rid of drugs from our streets should be one of our top priorities. In the report IDS calls for the reclassification of cannabis to Class B - not as you will note for consultation - as part of a national action plan to discourage cannabis use. It is quite clear, as the report puts it, that our most widely used illegal drug should not be in the category which conveys the impression to parents or children that we need to be less concerned with it than the other drugs classified. Modern day cannabis is a dangerous drug - especially when used regularly by youngsters - but current Government policy sends out mixed messages to children. I hope the Government sees sense and reverses their lunatic policy on cannabis, and if they don't then it will be one of the first things I propose to do when elected to Parliament.

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