Government Hits Back at Drug Adviser's Resignation

Government Hits Back at Drug Adviser's Resignation
Posted by CN Staff on July 10, 2002 at 20:17:37 PT
By Alan Travis
Source: Guardian Unlimited UK
The government yesterday hit back at the former drugs tsar Keith Hellawell's "resignation" as a part time adviser on international drugs policy in protest at the change in the cannabis laws. Mr Hellawell, whose role as drugs tsar ended a year ago, claimed the cannabis decision moved Britain "further towards decriminalisation than any other country. I have resigned over this issue and over the issue of spin", he said on Radio 4's Today programme. 
The former chief constable claimed the policy was a softening of the law which gave the wrong messages: "It's a personal initiative of David Blunkett - I don't know where he got his advice from, he certainly didn't get it from me." But the prime minister's spokesman said: "He tendered his resignation last month... At Mr Hellawell's request his resignation had not been made public." Mr Hellawell claimed he was not consulted over the change in drugs policy. But Downing Street said he had been supportive when he met Mr Blunkett last autumn and had had further meetings with drugs minister Bob Ainsworth and had not raised any concerns. Mr Hellawell was appointed as a US-style drugs tsar four years ago. When it was decided responsibility for coordinating drugs policy should move from the Cabinet Office to the Home Office a year ago, Mr Hellawell lost his role. Instead he became part time adviser to the Home Office, a role that was due to end in October.Special Report: Drugs in Britain:,2759,178206,00.htmlSource: Guardian Unlimited, The (UK)Author: Alan TravisPublished: Thursday, July 11, 2002 Copyright: 2002 Guardian Newspapers LimitedContact: comment Website: Articles:Blunkett Opens Up Drugs Laws The Brave in Changing Law Leaves Police with Dilemma
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