Lib Dems Vote To Legalise Cannabis

Lib Dems Vote To Legalise Cannabis
Posted by FoM on March 09, 2002 at 18:57:17 PT
By Marie Woolf in Manchester
Source: Independent UK
Liberal Democrats yesterday voted for the most radical drug policy of any mainstream political party by voting to legalise the use of marijuana and end jail sentencesfor possession of all other drugs, including cocaine, ecstasy and heroin.The supply and use of cannabis should be legalised and regulated, the party decided, opening the door to an Amsterdam-style "coffee shop'' culture in Britain.
Prosecution for growing cannabis for personal use should be abolished and adults who supply "spliffs'' to their friends should not be charged, the party decided yesterday. Drugs such as ecstasy should be reclassified from Class A to Class B.In a heated debate at their Spring Conference in Manchester, delegates voted to redirect police time to catching drug traffickers and to end prison terms "for personal use of illegal drugs of any class".They voted for stiffer penalties for dealers who sell drugs near schools or psychiatric hospitals and to make roadside drug testing of motorists official party policy. The vote, which would mean that the use of any drug would no longer be a criminal offence, received overwhelming support.The Lib Dems committed themselves to renegotiating international treaties "in the longer term'' to allow Britain to "put the supply of cannabis on a legal regulated basis''. They also voted to accept an amendment calling for doctors to be given the power to prescribe heroin to addicts.Yesterday, doctors and students joined MPs and barristers in voting to liberalise Britain's drugs laws. Mark Simons, a member of Liberal Democrat Youth and Students and a cannabis user, said it should be "legalised as soon as possible". "Relaxing with a spliff is just as natural as with a glass of wine,'' he said.Chris Davies MEP, who is facing prosecution for possession of cannabis, argued that devoting 70 per cent of drug-related police time to cannabis users was "the policing priority of a madman''.His view was supported by Dr James Walsh, a GP who said that it was "hypocrisy'' to allow alcohol and tobacco use while outlawing cannabis.The party also voted to make cannabis available by prescription for medicinal use after drug trials.Simon Hughes, Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, said: "With so many people using cannabis regularly it is self-delusion to pretend that prohibition is working. The evidence is that cannabis does less harm than many other current illegal drugs, let alone legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco." Complete Title: Lib Dems Vote To Legalise Cannabis and Prescribe Heroin To AddictsSource: Independent (UK)Author: Marie Woolf in ManchesterPublished: March 10, 2002Copyright: 2002 Independent Newspapers (UK) Ltd.Contact: letters Related Articles & Web Site:Drugscope Cannabis Legal Now's Liberal Democrats Vote for Marijuana Pragmatic Path To Cannabis Reform
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Comment #1 posted by Craiggoth on March 10, 2002 at 03:16:27 PT
YAY! GO LIBERAL DEMOCRATS! Its about time something like this happened for us :o) Cannabis is doing us no harm...
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