Feeds

Lords told to listen to science on cannabis

Wacky Jacqui weasels on weed

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Redmond resists order to hand over overseas email
Court wanted peek as related to US investigation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.