British authorities have decided to keep cannabis as a Class C drug, according to a brief report in last weeks Sunday Times.
Cannabis is to keep its listing as a low-risk drug, the Sunday Times reported. The Home Office downgraded the drug to class C in 2004, meaning it has a low risk of addiction and few long-term health hazards. The government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) found that although there was evidence linking cannabis and mental illness, it was not strong enough to justify raising its classification.
The civil liberties group, Transform, said that Britains Home Secretary still has to formally accept the Councils recommendations. However, they also described the classification issue as a distraction from the real issue, that of legalisation.
If the Government is serious about getting rid of illegal dealers and reducing the harm associated with cannabis, the only effective course of action is to have legally regulated outlets, argues Transform.
This would effectively remove the illegal profits, collapse the illegal market and put the dealers out of business, Transforms argument continues. It would also allow effective prohibitions on sales to minors. It would also enable quality control and (the use of) health warnings on packaging,
It is precisely the dangers of cannabis that necessitate its strict legal regulation and control (in contrast to oft repeated myth that legalisation advocates do so on the basis that cannabis is harmless), the civil liberties group continued.
Harsher enforcement only serves to increase harm, Transforms statement concludes. This is a view held by many medical experts including authors of research cited by the Home Secretary in his March letter to the ACMD.
http://www.tdpf.org.uk/Policy_General_Cannabis_Reclassification_Revisited.htm rnhttp://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/History/aof/index.html (Agency of Fear: Opiates and Political Power in America: The story of how the Drug Enforcement Administration came to be . . .)
http://www.november.org (Working to end drug war injustice, the November Coalition, a non-profit grassroots organization, was founded in 1997 Members educate the public about destructive, unnecessary incarceration due to the U.S. drug war . . .)