Source: Essex Evening Gazette [UK]

Pub Date: Friday, 19 July 2002

Pub LTE: Confused over smoke signals

Author: Don Barnard. Legalise Cannabis Alliance,




Home Secretary, David Blunkett, announced on July 10, that he intended to reclassify cannabis as a class C drug but raise the maximum sentence for supply on class C drugs from five to 14 years.

This will mean that although the maximum sentence for possession of cannabis will be two years, instead of five, the maximum for supply of cannabis will not change.

The Home Secretary did not refer to sentences for cultivation.

Many cannabis campaigners and professionals are disappointed with the announcement and even though there is progression in thought, the results may still be negative, for there will still be no safe place for users to interact socially as do people who drink alcohol.

I cannot see how these changes will help anyone except the police, who will save time through not having to arrest people caught with small amounts of cannabis.

Mr Blunkett seems to have forgotten supply is driven by demand and uncontrollable if left outside of the law. It is also highly profitable and untaxable.

With a lesser penalty on possession it is likely more people will smoke cannabis openly. This will lead to an increase in demand.

If users are not allowed to grow it they can only buy it illegally. The question is: What sort of people are going to sell what sort of cannabis?

If we are not careful the less discernible supplier will find a gateway to offer hard drugs.

Only legalisation - bringing it within the law - can separate cannabis from hard drugs. This sort of

half-measure and political appeasement will achieve little - especially little by delaying the change another 12-month .

People should be allowed to grow it.

Don Barnard

Legalise Cannabis Alliance


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