Feeds

Lords told to listen to science on cannabis

Wacky Jacqui weasels on weed

Top three mobile application threats

A group of scientists has urged the House of Lords to listen to scientific advice rather than the ranting of Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and reject her proposal to change the classification of cannabis from C to B.

In a letter to the Guardian, eight leading scientists call on the Lords to back an amendment tabled by Baroness Meacher which would delay any reclassification until the issue is re-examined.

The letter said: "Cannabis use has fallen in recent years, especially following its downgrading to class C in 2004, and it is obviously unwise to risk reversing that trend. The classification system must be credible - reclassification would send out an ambiguous message about the dangers of current class B drugs.

"Even more importantly, the move would be a sad departure from the welcome trend - established after the Phillips report into the BSE disaster - of public policy following expert scientific advice unless there is new evidence."

The letter was signed by an ex-government chief scientific adviser David King, Professor Michael Rawlins, ACMD chair from 1998 to 2008, Robert May, another ex-government chief scientific advister, Professor Gabriel Horne, chair of the Academy of Medical Science working group on addiction and Professor Colin Blakemore, a member of the UK Drug Policy Commission.

Smith's scientific advisers - the ACMD - investigated alleged links between cannabis and mental illness and found there weren't any. Despite this and evidence that cannabis use has fallen since it was downgraded by David Blunkett in 2004, Smith said she wanted to upgrade the drug and ban the sale of paraphernalia like pipes and bongs.

Even the Home Office press release at the time said: "Cannabis use has fallen significantly across all age ranges and this is a testament to the success of the previous ten year Drug Strategy. However, the reduction in cannabis use must not be allowed to reverse."

The Association of Chief Police Officers also asked for flexibility in how it deals with people caught in possession of the drug. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
EU: Let's cost financial traders $400m a day, because EVIL BANKERS. Right?
Wait 'til this one hits your pension fund where it hurts
Systems meltdown plunges US immigration courts into pen-and-paper stone age
Massive outage could last four weeks, sources claim
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.