Clarke Paves Way for U-Turn on Cannabis 

Clarke Paves Way for U-Turn on Cannabis 
Posted by CN Staff on January 06, 2006 at 10:18:15 PT
By Michael White, Political Editor
Source: Guardian Unlimited
United Kingdom -- Charles Clarke, the home secretary, was criticised yesterday from both sides of the debate on the misuse of drugs when he publicly indicated that he is considering restoring the class B status of cannabis in the light of medical evidence.In what the tabloids labelled a "humiliating climbdown" from the decision of his predecessor, David Blunkett, to downgrade the widely used drug to class C, Mr Clarke used media interviews to signal his approval of an imminent report, which he has already read, from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.
Without divulging the report's contents Mr Clarke said he would accept one recommendation - to increase education about the dangerous effects of cannabis and its legal status, after Mr Blunkett's decision two years ago caused anti-drug partisans to claim that the drug had been '"decriminalised".In an interview with the Times the home secretary confirmed what his officials have been saying, that new medical evidence has prompted a number of people to change their minds. "I'm very struck by the advocacy of a number of people who have been proposers of the reclassification of cannabis that they were wrong," he said. "I am also very worried about the most recent medical evidence on mental health. This is a very serious issue."Under Mr Blunkett's reclassification, designed to free up police time to concentrate on dealers of more serious drugs, possession of cannabis became a non-arrestable offence in most cases. But it remains illegal and sentences range from up to two years' jail for possession and 14 years for dealing.At the beginning of last year, the Home Office said the reclassification was paying dividends as cannabis arrests had fallen by 33% in the first five months after the move. It claimed that the change in the law represented a saving of almost 200,000 police-officer hours, giving police more time to target dealers of class A drugs. However, figures released by the Metropolitan police last year showed that the number of people arrested for dealing hard drugs in London had fallen steadily since 2001, despite the reclassification.When asked yesterday if Mr Blunkett's move had helped at all, Mr Clarke conceded: "I think it gives a steer to the citizen on more serious drug consumption." His tone prompted a positive response from his Tory shadow, David Davis, who called for "appropriate action", especially with regard to mental health.But the Liberal Democrat spokesman, Mark Oaten, echoed the warning from Dame Ruth Runciman, a prominent expert in the field, in saying there should be no change of mind until the evidence for it is very strong. "The government should base drug classification on the facts and not tabloid pressure," Mr Oaten said. "The advisory body reports shortly and we should listen to their findings and not prejudge them. The case for treating drugs in different categories remains very strong and unless the advisory body make a strong argument to change this, the government should resist reclassification."Dame Ruth, chairwoman of the NHS's Mental Health Trust and a veteran of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, also joined the debate to protest about ill-informed commentary. Mr Blunkett's original announcement had been "mishandled", she conceded on Radio 4, leading to ill-judged talk about "semi-legalised" or "decriminalised" cannabis. In what she called "the hierarchy of relative harm", no such drugs are harmless, she said.What Mr Blunkett had done was "not radical at all, but sensible", she said, in reducing the maximum sentence from five years to two - still one of the most stringent regimes in Europe. Government considers reclassification of drug  Home secretary attacked from both sides of debate Source: Guardian Unlimited, The (UK)Author: Michael White, Political EditorPublished: Friday, January 6, 2006Copyright: 2006 Guardian Newspapers LimitedContact: letters Articles: Clarke Urged Not To Reclassify Cannabis Jailed Every Week for Using Cannabis Possession Limit To Be 500 Joints
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Comment #31 posted by FoM on January 08, 2006 at 08:16:05 PT
Off Topic: Podcasts on War on Drugs 
By The Washington Post January 8, 2006 WASHINGTON - Bored by those thousands of songs stored in your iPod? Been wondering about the latest developments in the United States' war on drugs? Well, the White House has a deal for you. The Office of National Drug Control Policy last week began a "podcasting" service that will allow users of iPods and other personal audio players to periodically download "speeches, events, interviews and the latest information regarding national efforts to reduce drug use in America."  
"President Bush and I know that most of the work to reduce the harms drugs cause to our society is done at the local level," John P. Walters, director of the office, said in a written statement. "We hope that by providing relevant and timely information via this new technology, more people will join us in educating our fellow citizens regarding the destructive effects of drugs." Users can gain access to the free service at: 2006 - Knoxville News Sentinel,1406,KNS_350_4371397,00.html
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Comment #30 posted by unkat27 on January 08, 2006 at 07:58:54 PT
Clarke is a Vampire
Clarke and the people responsible for the report he based his decision on are vampires, they profit off of the sick, weak, and dying, by way of the legal pharmaceutical industry. They know that if cannabis were legalized, they could lose substantial profits, so they engage in the practice of demonizing it to ensure it does not become legal in the future.This is the way of the Vampires and Vultures, the Drug War Profiteers. They care nothing about the state of the majority of the people, they care only about their annual profits.
Vampires and Vultures: The Drug War Profiteers
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Comment #29 posted by kaptinemo on January 08, 2006 at 07:31:16 PT:
Oh, but they DO respect
In their world, they live by Nietzschean standards: only the strong merit respect, all the rest can be ignored. But that's changing.To use the Gandhian Progression: "First they ignore you. Then they make fun of you. Then they fight you...then you win." Time was, they ignored us. Then, they taunted us with "whacky legalizers". Spurned all offers to debate with Olympian disdain. Then Props 200 and 215 happened. Support for MMJ amongst the electorate was no longer a subject of theory but a fact. This was a pitcher of Arctic cold water down the backs of the prohibs then. And true to their natures, unable to steer the ponderous ship called the "USS Prohib" out of harm's way in it's course towards the reefs dead ahead, they went back to their old *ad hominem* attack mode...and increased the speed of their doomed ship BY INSULTING THE ELECTORATE IN CALIFORNIA AND ARIZONA BY CALLING THEM "DUPES" FOR HAVING VOTED FOR THE REFERNDA. They were even foolish enough to make a direct frontal assault upon the First Amendment Right of doctors to 'recommend' (no private physician in the US is allowed to prescribe) cannabis products to their patients (see Google Search String for "Conant versus Walters" ). And they paid a price for their arrogance and stupidity with that move by getting their pinkies singed for putting their mitts where they didn't belong. Like most animals in nature, 'once burned, twice shy'; they won't repeat that mistake again.They thought it would be a cakewalk to stomp us...and their jackboot landed on a *pungi stick* that went through the sole of said jackboot. So, despite their previous taunting - which has toned down quite a bit of late - they have realized that:1) We aren't taking it laying down anymore.2) When we fight back, we don't flail around; as my Da used to say, "Never tease an old dog; he won't waste his last bite on your hand but will go for your throat." The anti-prohibition movement has been around almost as long as drug prohibition has; we're not some wet-behind-the-ears- pup but a grizled old bulldog, who's been abused too often, and is looking to even up the score. We've been going for the political throat ever since, and been biting deep, hard and drawing blood. The antis haven't been able to get us to let go. Rhode Island is another example of that.So, despite their taunting, they're also sweating. This latest victory for our side puts several pounds of raw crow of ol' Johnny Pee's dinnerplate ("Today's [Supreme Court] decision marks the end of medical marijuana as a political issue.") Normally, I'd offer to cook it for him, and get him some ketchup out of sympathy for his plight, but not this time. He is welcome to eat it, feathers and all...They are learning to respect us, all right, or they wouldn't be trrying to end-run us in New Jersey. They'll have even more reason to respect us as time goes on.
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Comment #28 posted by global_warming on January 07, 2006 at 13:39:27 PT
meant to say
THE Holy Spirit, that Shines into the everlasting Night!The Darkness comprehended it not..
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Comment #27 posted by global_warming on January 07, 2006 at 13:28:42 PT
re:Why won't the Feds respect us?
This is a war, the secular occupants of this world, have not yet received the birth of the spirit, the Holy Spirit.
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Comment #26 posted by charmed quark on January 07, 2006 at 08:07:55 PT
Why won't the Feds respect us?
Here's a rather amusing blog about the tepid response of the anti compassionate-use people on New Jersey's MedPot bill. It's like they've given up.'s description of the bill itself: thing that I can't understand, given the 70-80% support for medical marijuana in this country, is why there is no movement at all for the Federal Bill to recognize the state laws. It's not a very radical action. Last time I checked, it said there was no probability of it getting out of committee.Even the bill that would let medical marijuana patients in Federal trials introduce the fact that were following state law is going nowhere. don't think it has that much to do with "evil pharmaceutical companies not wanting to lose business". If that was the case, they'd be running to patent stuff like Sativex to make money on it. But I don't think such drugs will ever make as much money as something like Viagra.So what's the real reason? The ongoing culture wars?
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Comment #25 posted by charmed quark on January 07, 2006 at 07:38:28 PT
More Medical Marijuana
This may be an interesting year. New Jersey has a "Compassionate Use Act" medical marijuana bill in its senate that is looking very good. It is S.B 2200 and has bipartisan support. Identical versions are being examined in both houses. And the new Governor has said he would support such a measure - so no vetoing like RI.The bill is very similar to Oregon's OMMP, flaws and all.But if it passes, I suspect it will be a very strong blow to the Feds. Maybe it'll be the tipping point to get Congress to pass that bill respecting states' medical marijuana acts.
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Comment #24 posted by OverwhelmSam on January 07, 2006 at 07:13:44 PT
Investigate Partnership for a Drug Free America
Let's bust this freak organization. They chase us down on witch hunts, why don't we turn the tables on them and bust these anti-marijuana con artists. Calvina comes to mind. I'm sure she's into BDSM or something. LOL
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Comment #23 posted by mayan on January 07, 2006 at 05:46:25 PT
Medical marijuana is victory for patients: Czechs Discover Dope:,,1849030,00.html?maca=en-rss_english_top-388-rdfHere's some encouraging news...Arcata calls for impeachment: City Council urges Bush impeachment:
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Comment #22 posted by Toker00 on January 07, 2006 at 05:46:19 PT
30 days grace
That's good runruff! That gives us thirty days to find the cure for Cannabis Prohibition. German scientists found the cure in 74, but the DEA doesn't believe in the Truth. California found the cure in 96, but the DEA doesn't believe in Compassion. Denver found the cure in 05, but the DEA doesn't believe in Safer Alternatives For Enjoyable Recreation, or voter initiatives. But we are going to make believers out of them very soon. Hang on, bro. We are in a gridlock with our Congress. We are going to break that gridlock come election day. Make sure every Congressman you vote for, Dem or Rep, has voiced their support for ending Cannabis Prohibition in one form or another. Tear out the prohibitionists from the heart of our Nation. 60%+ Americans disapprove of the job Congress is doing. Register to vote. Tear them out.Wage peace on war. END CANNABIS PROHIBITION NOW! 
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Comment #21 posted by Had Enough on January 07, 2006 at 04:20:52 PT
OT: China
Microsoft Shuts Down Chinese Blog
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Comment #20 posted by runderwo on January 06, 2006 at 20:52:03 PT
What I meant by that is that the studies they are basing these claims on were all predicting mental illness in adults based on past underage use. I haven't seen one that predicts mental illness in an adult from using cannabis as an adult. That's why to me it seems like a greater degree of paranoia is coming from the other side than any toker experiences... especially when you consider that underage drinking is implicated in the same way (and nobody bothers to mention that either).
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Comment #19 posted by OverwhelmSam on January 06, 2006 at 19:38:16 PT
Do you think Soros is hiring private investigators across the nation to investigate anti-mairjuana Officials? Hmmmm, it's not a bad idea. Frankly I wouldn't doubt that there are several financially independent humanitarians who are pursuing this avenue. Give the anti-marijuana freaks a taste of their own medicine. Maybe even give them a reason to be a little more humble towards marijuana consumers. Though I doubt the prohibitionists drones have the intelligence to make that mental leap.
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on January 06, 2006 at 19:30:15 PT
That is so good.
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Comment #17 posted by whig on January 06, 2006 at 19:26:51 PT
Bless you.
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Comment #16 posted by whig on January 06, 2006 at 19:26:24 PT
Comment #14
Thank you Mr. Soros, perhaps.
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Comment #15 posted by runruff on January 06, 2006 at 19:24:55 PT:
Here I am!!!
Hi guys!It's good to see you ask about me. The good news is I have an extention 'till 2-06-06. More than that I can't talk about right now. Keep me in your prayers. We can beat this spiritually, I have no doubt. I know that where ever I go I have work to do.Peace
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Comment #14 posted by OverwhelmSam on January 06, 2006 at 19:13:54 PT
About Current Trends
Have you noticed who's getting busted lately? Politicians, Administrators and Law Enforcement officials. Especially those who advocate arresting and punishing marijuana users. Tulia, Undercover Agents, Politicians, Border Patrol are going to jail in record numbers and that's just the tip of the ice berg. I think we can expect more official prohibitionists to be serving right along side those they've pushed to put in jail. There seems to be ongoing quite investigations into the lives of these public officials and suddenly evidence of criminal activity is showing up on the appropriate prosecutors' desks. Next thing you know, people like 
Tom DeLay are being investigated, charged and prosecuted. Wonder when the anti-mairjuana nuts are going to do the math? Live and let live, or die.You're next DEA. Yes, I'm talking to you. Instant Karma is going to get YOU! It's going to knock you right in the face. You better get yourself together, and join the human race.
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Comment #13 posted by mayan on January 06, 2006 at 18:12:04 PT
British Drug Lords
It claimed that the change in the law represented a saving of almost 200,000 police-officer hours, giving police more time to target dealers of class A drugs.Since the U.S. and British governments are presently seeing that Afghanistan's heroin is safely making it's way to Europe they must also make it safe for folks to buy that heroin by having the British police waste all of their time on cannabis arrests. Can't lock up your best customers.On an unrelated note, China might do what we invaded Iraq for doing and what we will likely invade Iran for doing. We are on the brink of WWIII because our leaders failed to be fiscally responsible with OUR money... China hints at shift away from dollar: WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...Former Conservative Wall Street Journal Writer And Reagan Cabinet Member Calls Bush Hitler & 9/11 His Reichstag Fire: the War Machine By Facing the Truth of 9/11: SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 TREASON INDEPENDENT PROSECUTOR ACT:
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on January 06, 2006 at 17:50:07 PT
Book of Daniel
There has been so much controversy over this 2 hour show that I am looking forward to seeing it at 9 tonight. It might be terrible but it might be funny. I don't understand why religious organizations are so uptight about anything different but I will soon find out. I hope others check it out too. It's like how upset people got when Weeds was first announced.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on January 06, 2006 at 17:41:42 PT
I'm anxious to hear his good news too.
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Comment #10 posted by Toker00 on January 06, 2006 at 17:30:36 PT
I was wonderin...
Where is runruff? Where is the good news?Wage peace on war. END CANNABIS PROHIBITION NOW!
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Comment #9 posted by whig on January 06, 2006 at 17:08:20 PT
Dear Abby
"Please forgive me for being a "downer," but it's time to accept the fact that you and Jody are at different levels of maturity and heading down different paths. When and if this girl matures..."Way to stroke his ego, I suppose. It wouldn't be as nice to say, "When and if you mature you might meet another girl and learn to loosen up a little bit." But it would be more accurate.
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Comment #8 posted by OverwhelmSam on January 06, 2006 at 15:46:50 PT
I Can't Help It., I Have To Post This Article
This is such an irony, the guy in this article lost his girlfriend because DIDN'T smoke weed. (chuckle)Source: Abby: I am 21 and my girlfriend, "Jody," is 19. The other day she was invited to a party at which she told me she intended to smoke marijuana. She knows I disapprove of drugs and alcohol. When I became upset, she told me to "lighten up." I love Jody with all my heart and want nothing bad to happen to her, so I wrote an anonymous letter to her mother explaining the situation. Jody didn't get into trouble, but her brother did because he had marijuana on him at the time. Because I told her mother what was going to happen, nobody was able to do what they intended at the party. Now they're all mad at me. I have been getting hate messages on my answering machine and via e-mail. Jody promised to call me before the party, but she didn't and went anyway. I visited her at work and tried to talk with her, but she isn't speaking to me. I have apologized countless times, saying I didn't mean for anyone to get in trouble. I love her more than anything, but I don't feel any love in return. I am very shy, so I find it hard to talk to her. What can I do? -- Hurting in Iowa Dear Hurting: You have done enough. It doesn't take a crystal ball to see that your relationship with Jody is over, at least for now. Please forgive me for being a "downer," but it's time to accept the fact that you and Jody are at different levels of maturity and heading down different paths. When and if this girl matures, she may realize the fine qualities you have to offer. But I have a feeling that by the time that happens, you'll be long gone and in love with someone whose values are more similar to your own. 
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Comment #7 posted by whig on January 06, 2006 at 14:21:42 PT
In fairness, some adults may have problems adjusting too, and paranoia is a fairly common part of that experience. Not everyone gets past it, but I think a little support and counseling would go a long way. From the perspective of the psych industry, discovering God may be considered psychosis.
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Comment #6 posted by runderwo on January 06, 2006 at 14:02:11 PT
Why, in articles about the UK issue, do they ALWAYS conveniently omit that the purported mental health issues are with respect to CHILDREN and not adults?
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on January 06, 2006 at 13:40:12 PT
Off Topic: Yahoo Reaches Out Beyond Browser 
By Alfred Hermida, 
Technology editor, BBC News website, in Las Vegas  
Yahoo is making its services available via TV 
Web giant Yahoo has taken the first steps towards moving beyond the browser. It has announced plans to allow people to use Yahoo e-mail, messaging and other services on mobile phones and via the TV.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on January 06, 2006 at 12:52:37 PT
Off Topic
I am watching an interview with Kinky Friedman on CNN and I like him. I am not a Texan but he would make a really good Governor I think.
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Comment #3 posted by whig on January 06, 2006 at 12:29:13 PT
On a personal note
I've quit tobacco.
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Comment #2 posted by whig on January 06, 2006 at 12:26:58 PT
Keep in mind
Politicians are the type of people who, if they ever did inhale, would have seen the monster staring back at them.
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Comment #1 posted by global_warming on January 06, 2006 at 11:07:51 PT
What is it they know
Charlie old home boy, what is the evidence, or is it some national security matter and cannot be discussed?I think that most enlightened souls already know, Cannabis use is a cheap gateway to your inner mind, that place where you see the deep, that place where you awaken and become a whole human being.The frightened politicians have no way to communicate with a body of people who see the precipitous chasm and the chains that hold back the masses.
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