End The Confusion Over Cannabis 

End The Confusion Over Cannabis 
Posted by CN Staff on January 17, 2004 at 17:40:39 PT
Source: Observer UK
The application of the law on cannabis is a muddle. You may believe that the decision to downgrade cannabis from a class B to a class C drug from the beginning of the year means it is no longer illegal to possess and use cannabis but only illegal to trade in it. Last week, Sir John Stevens, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, admitted the situation was confusing and told us possession could still lead to two years' imprisonment. Why should anyone spend two years in prison for possession of cannabis if they cannot be arrested for it?
You risk arrest if you buy and sell cannabis, or if you use it in aggravated circumstances - in the street, in a school playground or outside the school gate. But policy, as we understand it, is for simple possession of cannabis to lead only to a caution. For the mass of users, its illegality is a technical issue, in which case Sir John, while strictly right, should be more precise. The Government is trying to be pragmatic about cannabis use. Millions use it in moderation for pleasure and to stigmatise law-abiding citizens with a criminal record is silly; cannabis use is here to stay. And yet the Government, and most parents fear, with good reason, that further liberalisation would lead to an explosion of use. Hence the retention of the threat of arrest. If this is too confusing for the public and the police, then the way forward has to be towards full decriminalisation. To work, this must go hand in hand with a vigorous education campaign on the dangers of drug abuse but, as we report today, this key plank of government policy is set to collapse through a funding shortfall. There are important benefits to further liberalisation, including putting the currently murky business under public scrutiny, where health risks and product quality can be properly monitored. Some of the very strong cannabis on the streets today bears little relation to the mild mood-altering stuff used by yesterday's students. It is essential that relaxation of the law is accompanied by greater education about the long-term effects of use. Decriminalising a drug is not a declaration that it is safe, as we know when we warn children against the dangers of tobacco and alcohol. Cannabis may be a real danger to health. But its use should not be a crime. Note: Education on drug use is paramount. Special Report: Drugs in Britain:,2759,178206,00.htmlSource: Observer, The (UK)Published: Sunday, January 18, 2004Copyright: 2004 The ObserverContact: letters Articles:Haze of Confusion Hangs Over Dangers To Health Just How Potent Are Our Street Drugs? The Problem - Guardian Unlimited UK Chief Acknowledges Muddle Over Drug Law
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Comment #1 posted by ekim on January 17, 2004 at 18:43:47 PT
put there space where there mouth is
this is great now if this paper will give space to those who will change the law it would start to be fair.
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