cannabisnews.com: Police Think-Tank Says Relax Some Drug Laws 





Police Think-Tank Says Relax Some Drug Laws 
Posted by FoM on March 27, 2000 at 14:29:10 PT
Expects downgrade of Ecstasy & Cannabis
Source: ITN Online
The Government is coming under renewed pressure to relax Britain's drug laws as a police think-tank was set to recommend the "depenalising" of soft drugs such as cannabis.The debate was re-ignited by the imminent publication of a Police Foundation report expected to recommend the downgrading of Ecstasy from a Class A drug.
Instead the research group will say police should treat the dance drug like cannabis and maximum penalties for possession should be cut from six months' jail to 200 fines.It will also call for possession of less than two grammes of cannabis to become a civil offence, attracting warnings or small fines.But the foundation also believes harsher penalties should be introduced against dealers to tackle drug use by youngsters.The findings are the result of two and a half years of work involving experts including chief constables and Lady Ruth Runciman, former head of the Government's drug advisory council.However, with Conservative politicians calling for a tougher anti-drugs regime, the Government insisted there was no chance of a change in the law without firm medical evidence backing it up.But Home Office Minister of State Charles Clarke insisted there were no plans to downgrade Ecstasy or "depenalise" possession of cannabis, for which 100,000 people were arrested in 1998."We are, of course, prepared to keep on looking at the issue, but the  question remains in every context: what is the impact for society? What's the impact for the health of everybody? And what is the impact, most important of all, of a relaxation upon consumption?"I believe the most likely impact of a relaxation in the law in any of these areas would be to increase consumption of those drugs."I think that would be bad for the people concerned and bad for society."Mr Clarke, who has admitted smoking marijuana as a student, said the drugs debate could be improved by "politicians telling the truth about their own experience and giving their own views frankly and that's certainly what I've tried to do".He said despite Association of Chief Police Officers' guidelines drug use was sometimes tackled differently by different police forces and the Government was working to achieve uniformity across the country.Mr Clarke accepted there was a shortage of drug rehabilitation schemes and said there would be an announcement next week on extra resources as a result of the Budget.But he rejected any suggestion the problem was caused by soft drug users "clogging up" the system.David Lidington, Tory home affairs spokesman, also refused to support calls for liberalising Britain's drug laws."I want to see a tougher regime adopted against drugs by police and the courts."I think that people who at the moment are ignored ought to be cautioned; people who are cautioned probably ought to have a court appearance."And I believe that for the traffickers, particularly people who sell to children, there should be a mandatory minimum prison sentence to indicate society's rejection of what they're doing."Published: March 26, 2000 ITN Online, Britain's Leading Multimedia News Site.  Related Articles:Ecstasy and Cannabis: No Downgradehttp://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread5189.shtmlSoften Law on Ecstasy, Says Police Inquiry http://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread4746.shtmlPolice Force Urges Legalisation http://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread4743.shtmlCannabisNews Articles On The UK & Ecstasy:http://www.alltheweb.com/cgi-bin/asearch?type=all&query=cannabisnews+UK http://www.alltheweb.com/cgi-bin/asearch?type=all&query=cannabisnews+ecstasy 
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Comment #3 posted by LSN on March 27, 2000 at 23:31:46 PT
Jack and the Tory
I think overall Labour is still a good party.What Jack Straw is doing is putting up a tough face so that they will get less attack from the Tories. Otherwise, Labour will get more trouble from the Tories, not that they don't have enough majority in the Commons.
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Comment #2 posted by observer on March 27, 2000 at 21:31:33 PT
We Will Ignore The Report
''In regard to the physical effects, the Commission have come to the conclusion that the moderate use of hemp drugs is practically attended by no evil results at all. . . Speaking generally, the Commission are of opinion that the moderate use of hemp drugs appears to cause no appreciable physical injury of any kind. . . . In respect to the alleged mental effects of the drugs, the Commission have come to the conclusion that the moderate use of hemp drugs produces no injurious effects on the mind.''-- The Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report (1894)http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/Library/effects.htm
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Comment #1 posted by Freedom on March 27, 2000 at 18:23:47 PT
Another hole in the dyke.
> "We are, of course, prepared to keep on looking at the issue, but the question remains in every context: what is the impact for society? What's the impact for the health of everybody? And what is the impact, most important of all, of a relaxation upon consumption?That is the very issue the Police Foundation was addressing, taking into account such factors as the cost to society of nailing teens with criminal records... American-style prohibition gets you American results. Look over the river.Jack Straw: "We need to wait for the Police Foundation report, before we consider decriminalization of cannabis possession."[Stalling tactic...]Report comes out, and recomends depenalization.Jack Straw: "Well, nevermind that, people will dance in the streets naked if we do not criminalize their conduct. We will ignore the report."[Jack has bought some more time...]A good prohibitionist. 
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