Cannabis is given health all clear : LUSENET : Unk's Troll-free Private Saloon : One Thread

Cannabis is given health all clear

by David Taylor Home Affairs Correspondent

Scientists today cleared the way for a softening of the law on cannabis, declaring that the drug "is not associated with major health problems for the individual or society".

The Government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs found that while cannabis smokers can become dependent, the drug is not as addictive as tobacco or alcohol.

Although cannabis may pose risks for people with heart problems, or for schizophrenics, the dangers are not so great as in the case of other drugs such as amphetamine, say the scientists. In healthy young people, cannabis is even said to have a similar effect on the heart as exercise.

The findings are sure to dismay some anti-drugs campaigners who regard cannabis as a "gateway drug" which can lead users to experiment with harder substances, such as heroin.

At the moment, cannabis is a Class B drug, one rung down from cocaine, heroin and ecstasy, but on a par with amphetamine or "speed". In October, Home Secretary David Blunkett signalled his intention to downgrade cannabis to Class C alongside steroids and some sleeping pills - meaning that being caught with small amounts would no longer be an arrestable offence.

Today's advisory council report says cannabis is less harmful than other Class B drugs, adding: "The continuing juxtaposition of cannabis with these more harmful Class B drugs, erroneously ( and dangerously) suggests that their harmful effects are equivalent."

It makes clear that alcohol is far more damaging than cannabis to health and society at large because it encourages risk-taking and leads to aggressive and violent behaviour.

Today's report - always expected to support downgrading - is seen as the next step toward the biggest change in the drugs laws for more than 30 years.

Both the Commons and the Lords will have to debate and vote on the issue before the law can be changed and the Home Secretary will wait until he has read two more key reports before he asks Parliament to look at the question.

First, he wants to see a study of the Metropolitan Police's Lambeth experiment where people caught with cannabis have been let off with a warning and simply had the drug confiscated. Then he will read the home affairs select committee's wide-ranging report on the Government's drugs policies.

A Home Office source said any change in the law would come "in the summer at the earliest". It would still be possible to go to jail for dealing in cannabis, but people caught with small amounts for personal use would likely face only confiscation and a formal warning.

-- Cherri (, March 16, 2002


Cherri, it is my duty to infomr you that the subject of the prohibition of cannabis falls into the category of Right Wing Political Correctness (RWPC). Because you have failed to fall in line behind the RWPC position, you must be severely chastised. The preferred chastisement is to label you an addlebrained druggie and a welfare queen.

Any right wing conservatives who have stumbled onto this thread are required to overlook any resemblance between RWPC and LWPC. This extends to and embraces your noticing any resemblance between labelling the Cherri as an addlebrained druggie and welfare queen, and a leftwinger labelling their opponent as a racist. You must not notice this resemblance. It is your duty to RWPC!

-- Little Nipper (, March 16, 2002.

Bullshit, LN,

Of course, we could make a long list of all of the Democrats who are crying for a sane drug policy, (Al Gore.... Hmmm...Bill Clinton, jeez, no, he arrested his own brother) while ignoring such leftists as George Shultz and William F. Buckley, who both call for drug legalization.

Left is just as guilty as right on this issue.

-- Uncle Deedah (, March 16, 2002.


Being in favor of a sane drug policy brands you as "conservative" in the true sense. Or in the false sense, who knows, the labels have been so twisted lately.

But yeah, over-all, calling for drug legalization is a very "conservative" position. You know, it's that whole "being responsible for your own choices" thingy.

-- Uncle Deedah (, March 16, 2002.

And while we're voting in sane drug policies, I'd like to add an amendment that allows a parent to whup the ass of anybody who sells it to underage kids.

(Yay! Unk sighting!)

-- helen (, March 16, 2002.

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