Doctors Debate Cannabis Laws

Doctors Debate Cannabis Laws
Posted by CN Staff on July 01, 2003 at 23:32:07 PT
Miss Fozzard wants a debate on drugs 
Source: BBC News 
Doctors are set to consider calls for cannabis and other recreational drugs to be legalised. The move will be proposed at the British Medical Association's annual conference in Torquay on Wednesday. Connie Fozzard, 70, a retired surgeon who will propose the motion, said she hoped it would spark a debate among doctors and the general public. The BMA advised against the legalisation of cannabis when it gave evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee in 2002. 
The committee recommended downgrading of the class A drug ecstasy to Class B, but this was rejected by ministers. Ministers did agree to downgrade cannabis from Class B to C, but the Home Office is opposed to legalisation.  'Cut crime' Miss Fozzard will propose the motion on behalf of doctors in Cornwall. She will tell the conference that legalisation could help to cut drug-related crime.  " We want the BMA to debate this. We want the public to debate this. " -- Connie Fuzzed"The government has a responsibility to the public to reduce crime," she told BBC News Online. "Prohibition does not work. Just look at the experience of the United States when they tried to ban alcohol. "What arose out of that was Al Capone and armed gangs and that is what is happening now in this country." "This is also about the nanny state," she said. "Consenting adults should be allowed to do what they like." Miss Fozzard said legalising drugs would enable the government to put taxes on them and also ensure the quality of drugs. She suggested many drug users were putting themselves at risk by taking adulterated and low-quality drugs. "We want the BMA to debate this. We want the public to debate this," she said. On Tuesday, doctors attending the BMA conference held an informal debate on the issue. There were mixed views although most appeared to be against any proposals to legalise drugs. Dr Fay Wilson, a GP in Birmingham, said: "Legalising drugs will not help. It will not do a thing to reduce crime. "There are quite a number of people who do not take drugs because they are illegal." Other doctors called for studies into the possible effects of legalising drugs. Dr Noel Olsen, chairman of the Alcohol Education and Research Council, said: "We need research and an evidence base." The UK charity DrugScope welcomed the debate. But a spokeswoman said: "We believe that this debate must be based on the evidence that has been given to the government on the harmful nature of drugs, such as our support for the reclassifying of cannabis and ecstasy, as well as the recent outlawing of GHB." Source: BBC News (UK Web) Published: Wednesday, July 2, 2003Copyright: 2003 BBC Contact: newsonline Related Articles & Web Site:DrugScope UK, 70, Campaigns for Legal Drugs Calls for New Drug Laws Call for Softer Pot Cultivation Laws 
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