Schools Told To Warn Pupils They Can Be Jailed

Schools Told To Warn Pupils They Can Be Jailed
Posted by CN Staff on April 30, 2003 at 14:32:54 PT
By Richard Garner, Education Editor
Source: Independent UK
Schools are being told to remind pupils that cannabis possession still carries a prison sentence, because of confusion caused by the plans of the Home Secretary, David Blunkett, to reclassify the drug. New guidance on drugs education published by the Department for Education and Skills yesterday urges teachers still to adopt a tough line.
Mr Blunkett proposes to reclassify cannabis from a class B drug to class C, which means most people caught in possession are likely to escape with a caution and confiscation of the drug. They are only likely to be prosecuted for repeat offences. However, yesterday's guidance, which has gone out to schools for consultation, says: "It is important for schools to reinforce to pupils that cannabis is harmful to health and is still an illegal drug and possession will remain a criminal offence leading to a possible fine or imprisonment. "Schools should continue to deal with incidents relating to possession or supply of cannabis in line with their school drug policy." The tough message was underlined by the Education minister Ivan Lewis in a foreword to the document. "Drugs can have a devastating impact on young people's lives  even small amounts can ruin their futures," he said. "Drugs can lead to major disruption within schools themselves. Drugs are a menace and we must tackle them head-on." The policy document also urges schools to be cautious before allowing former drug users to visit schools to talk to pupils. It says: "They may be able to provide a valuable and compelling insight into the consequences of drugs use but schools should be aware that  without sensitive handling  they may arouse interest in drugs that pupils would otherwise be unlikely to try and may glamourise drug misuse." The guidance also notes that some schools have introduced urine-testing or the use of police handlers or private companies with sniffer dogs. It says schools wanting to adopt that approach must get written permission either from a parent/carer or a pupil. Complete Title: Schools Told To Warn Pupils They Can Still Be Jailed for Cannabis Possession Source: Independent (UK)Author: Richard Garner, Education EditorPublished: April 29, 2003 Copyright: 2003 Independent Newspapers (UK) Ltd.Contact: letters Related Articles & Web Site:Drugs Uncovered: Observer Special Say No To a Drugs Policy That Doesn't Work Urges Leniency for Cannabis Growers Users Relax with New Law
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