April 3, 2008

Great Britain's "Class C" Cannabis War

How much more research needs to be done before the more important question is addressed, which is why people need to get high in the first place? If we researched lettuce as much as cannabis, they'd find reason to criminalize it! But too much money changes hands in the black market, corrupt police, border patrols, etc. and they don't want to give up their gravy train. Let's not forget the pharamceutical companies who want people dependent on their expensive drugs and the alcohol companies who, despite MANY years of research allow people to damage their livers and other vital organs. I tell young people that no one who is healthy and happy does drugs. The rest is about control and politics.
Cannabis 'should remain class C'
The official body which advises the government on drugs policy has decided cannabis should remain a class C drug, the BBC understands.
The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs' decision appears to go against the view of Gordon Brown, who seems to favour returning the drug to class B.
[...] BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw said the decision was taken at a private meeting of the council, which discussed significant new research from Keele University about links between cannabis and mental illness.
The study found nothing to support a theory that rising cannabis use in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s led to increases in the incidence of schizophrenia later on. [my bold]
[...] The Advisory Council's decision leaves the government in an awkward position, our correspondent added.
[...] If the government does reclassify, it would be rejecting the findings of the Advisory Council's panel of 23 drug experts, which has never happened before on a decision about drug classification.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she would not comment on the review until she had received it.
On Thursday, a spokesman for the Prime Minister said reports that the advisory body would recommend cannabis remain a class C drug were premature.
[...] Steve Rolles, of the Transform Drugs Policy Foundation, said increasing jail sentences from two years to five through reclassification was not the best way to send a strong signal to teenagers about the dangers of the drug.
"Rather than mass criminalisation of millions of young people, the best way would be to invest in effective, targeted public health education," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
[...] Mental health charity Sane was one group which gave evidence to the advisory group.
Marjorie Wallace, the charity's chief executive, said not enough was yet known about the direct links between cannabis and the brain.
She said she knew of hundreds of cases where people smoked cannabis heavily, in particular skunk, and went on to suffer psychotic breakdowns, hallucinations and paranoia.
[...] Police chiefs want cannabis to return to class B.
The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) said it stood by its recommendation made to the Advisory Council that cannabis should be restored to the category of a class B drug.

Class A: Seven years for possession, life for supplying
Class B: Five years for possession, 14 for supplying
Class C: Two years for possession, 14 for supplying

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