Source: Evening News, Norwich, UK

Pub Date: Wednesday, 17 July 2002

PUB LTE: Sending wrong smoke signals

Author: Alun Buffry, Legalise Cannabis Alliance,




Home Secretary, David Blunkett, announced that he intended to reclassify cannabis as a class C drug

Many cannabis campaigners and professionals are disappointed with the announcement and concerned that, although there may appear to be some progression in thought, the results may be negative,

There will still be no legal supply routes and no safe place for users to interact socially, as do people who choose to drink alcohol.

I cannot see how these changes will help anyone except maybe the police who will save time through not having to arrest and process people caught with small amounts of cannabis. I find the proposals very unclear in the message.

Mr Blunkett is saying that although cannabis is a dangerous drug, it is less dangerous than other class B drugs, so penalties for possession will be reduced.

On the other hand, he is saying that the penalty for suppling cannabis will become the same for class C as for class B.

He seems to have forgotten that 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 that more people will smoke cannabis more openly, thus introducing it to more others. This will lead to an increase in demand.

If users are not allowed to grow it then 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 discernable cannabis supplier will find a gateway to offer hard drugs.

Only legalisation - bringing it within the law - can separate cannabis from hard drugs. And people should be allowed to grow it.

I can only wonder what smoke signals the Government is sending us?

Alun Buffry

Legalise Cannabis Alliance

PO Box 198

Norwich NR3 3WB