Feeds

Lords told to listen to science on cannabis

Wacky Jacqui weasels on weed

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.