Britain’s Addictive Drug Policy

As was to be expected, the New Libertine Party (aka the Conservatives) is now no longer supporting the re-reclassification of cannabis back up to a category B drug. The Times reports that the Tories volte-face takes the heat off the Home Secretary:

Pressure on Charles Clarke to change cannabis back to a Class B drug eased significantly yesterday when the Conservatives abandoned their campaign for reclassification. The Home Secretary was also urged by experts to stick with the new Class C status to avoid further confusion. David Cameron, the new Tory leader, made it clear yesterday that he would not put Mr Clarke under any pressure to reclassify the drug. At the general election, the Tories said they would reverse Labours decision on cannabis and change it back to class B.

David Davis, the Shadow Home Secretary, also called for reclassification during the Conservative leadership campaign, but he issued a statement yesterday welcoming Mr Clarkes decision to voice concern over the impact of the drug on mental health and looked forward to further debate. “We welcome the Home Secretary’s recognition that there is new evidence about the dangers of cannabis, particularly with regard to mental health”, Mr Davis said. “We look forward to the publication of the advisory councils report and appropriate action from the Government, in particular to protect young

My interpretation of this situation is different from that of the Times.

The Tories shift on drugs was written the day David Cameron was elected leader. As I have written before (see October 17 post) Cameron has shown that he has uncritically swallowed all the garbage produced by the legalisation lobby.

In a diary for the Guardian Unlimited website in 2001, he wrote:

“I am an instinctive libertarian who abhors state prohibitions and tends to be sceptical of most government action, whether targeted against drug use or anything else…Hounding hundreds of thousands – indeed millions – of young people with harsh criminal penalties is no longer practicable or desirable.”

It remains to be seen whether the Home Secretary actually has the bottle to go against the received wisdom in the drug culture-addled Home Office (not forgetting the same lunacy within the higher echelons of the police) and restore some belated sanity to the law on cannabis. Of course this would be embarrassing as is any U-turn. But there is also surely an opportunity here for some canny cross-positioning. With the ‘Cameroons’ now pitching for the über-left vote and with millions of socially responsible voters therefore left totally disenfranchised, the obvious ploy for Tony Blair would be to
pitch the message to those abandoned souls that only Labour stands for social responsibility against the anarchic irresponsibility of social libertinism. Cannabis re-reclassification would be an excellent place to start.

Clarke should sack the ACMD and reclassify cannabis  to class A, where this most dangerous drug properly belongs.

Source: By Melanie Phillips. January 06, 2006
Filed under: Drug Specifics :

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