Kennedy Backs More Liberal Approach on Drugs 

Kennedy Backs More Liberal Approach on Drugs 
Posted by FoM on December 06, 2001 at 21:15:17 PT
By Michael White, Political Editor
Source: Guardian Unlimited
The Liberal Democrats broke ranks over drugs last night when Charles Kennedy's team endorsed a report which would reclassify both cannabis and ecstasy and encourage doctors to prescribe heroin to addicts. The report, drawn up by Lady Walmsley, will be debated at Mr Kennedy's spring conference. "It is increasingly clear that the law as it stands is not working, the current position is one that is completely out of control," the report concluded. 
It comes in the wake of David Blunkett's proposed easing of the anti-cannabis laws, and follows his stance, increasingly shared by senior police officers, that the law should better reflect social realities by recognising the wide spread acceptability of many recreational drugs. The Liberal Democrats' plan would reclassify cannabis less ambiguously than the home secretary intends, from Class B to a Class C drug - where cultivation, possession and small-scale social supply will not attract prosecution. The proposals - which stress treatment and education rather than punishment - were welcomed by the party's home affairs spokesman, Simon Hughes MP. They provide that ecstasy would be downgraded from Class A to Class B to distinguish it from the "most harmful" drugs. The report acknowledges Britain's options are restricted by international conventions and attaches importance to the "arrest, conviction and sentencing" of serious dealers. Source: Guardian Unlimited, The (UK)Author: Michael White, Political EditorPublished: Friday, December 7, 2001Copyright: 2001 Guardian Newspapers LimitedContact: letters Articles:News Poll Shows Huge Yes Vote for Drugs Café Don't Prosecute Ecstasy Users - Police Chief Britain is Going Dutch 
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