Congress is in the midst of a debate over the future funding of America’s war on drugs, especially the phase of the war that takes place in South America.
ONE thing is certain about the war on drugs. We aren’t winning it.
IT would be a great shame if clashing personalities and differences of ministerial opinion, rooted in a macho reluctance to back down, were to be set ahead of the welfare of children and young people.
A Personal Account in this week’s Lancet contains an intimate description of an individual’s dependence on ?-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), used as a method of combating social anxiety. An accompanying Review surveys the evidence for management strategies to treat complications of the recreational use of new drugs. These two provocative pieces serve a common purpose: they highlight the need for accurate, impartial information about the long-term effects of illicit drugs, and lay bare the difficulties doctors face when dealing with the consequences.
Tony Blair will be disappointed. Earlier this week he told the Commons that he was expecting an experts’ report on whether he should restore cannabis to a category B drug, remaking possession an arrestable offence, within weeks. Yesterday the experts on the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) set up a technical committee to re-examine the harmfulness of the drug, but it is not expected to report until December. The re-examination was prompted by two developments. First, research produced by two new studies suggesting regular use of cannabis may have more serious mental health consequences than previously thought. Second, the increase in the use of a stronger form of cannabis - “skunk” - prompting questions whether this more dangerous variety should carry higher penalties.
Marijuana is the most widely used illegal substance. About 15 million Americans smoke it, and police make nearly 700,000 pot-related arrests each year, accounting for nearly half of all drug arrests.
ON Thursday, many people who are put off Labour or the Tories may choose to make a protest vote.
Last year, the UK downgraded cannabis to “class C” - but now, based on two contentious studies, the government is taking another look
If ever a government had an early warning of one front it needs to defend in this election campaign, it is Labour’s downgrading of cannabis. On the eve of ministers reclassifying cannabis from category B to the less harmful category C about 14 months ago, the ever-opportunistic Michael Howard declared a Conservative government would reverse it. He condemned the government’s drugs strategy as “absurd”, which serious policy-makers thought “shameless”. Now, 14 months on, ministers are behaving “absurdly”, not by referring new evidence about the drug to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, but with their failure to set out the robust reasons behind their decision last year.
"Charles Clarke, the home secretary, is to order a review of the government’s decision - passed just 15 months ago - to downgrade cannabis from a class B to a class C drug. The reason he cites is the emergence of scientific evidence of a link between smoking cannabis and the risk of psychosis
It has just emerged that Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, is to order a review of the Government’s decision - passed just 15 months ago - to downgrade cannabis from a Class B to a Class C drug. The reason he cites is the emergence of scientific evidence of a link between smoking cannabis and the risk of psychosis. Yet there was already substantial evidence of this link before the reclassification, as many critics pointed out at the time.
When the Government opted to reclassify cannabis as a Class C rather than Class B drug in January 2004, this newspaper cautiously supported that move, provided that the medical evidence was kept under constant review. To that extent, there can be no objection to Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, asking the Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs to look again at this matter and to consider whether different types of cannabis might merit different classifications.
The government’s decision to reconsider its downgrading of cannabis has the Daily Mail gloating.
For the past three days, we have examined how the federal government’s prohibitionist approach to dealing with marijuana has utterly failed to reduce the supply of, or demand for, the drug. Cannabis use appears to be associated with cultural and social factors, rather than with the harshness of the laws or the degree of their enforcement.
Uganda has been cited among the leading growers of the illegal drug, cannabis.
Disturbing new research by eminent medical specialists - reported for the first time in the Mail today - reveals just how much damage cannabis can do to young people.
The Government’s much-vaunted war on drugs is turning into a humiliating defeat.
Ultimately, laws exist for the welfare of the citizens they protect. Within law and life in general, determining good and bad, right and wrong requires careful examination of specific situations. Certain actions are right in one context, but wrong in another. I will attempt here to try and articulate what I believe is a sound argument for the legalization of marijuana. I do not use this substance; my motivation for believing in its legalization does not stem from a desire to make my own life easier. My belief in marijuana’s legalization is the conclusion I reach after attempting to honestly examine the question of marijuana’s use from a broad sociological context.
We’re happy that the New York Legislature voted last month to reform the arcane Rockefeller Drug Laws. We look forward to seeing judges give fairer prison sentences to nonviolent men and women convicted of selling or possessing narcotics. Yet while these laws are a step in the right direction, they don’t go far enough. A key component of any rational drug policy must include the legalization of marijuana.
Where morals and self-restraint are weak, the law becomes much more important.
Thousands of acres have been taken out of coca production in Colombia, fewer US teenagers smoke cannabis and drugs seizures are not too far off record highs. The British police are cracking down on drug dealers and Britain is leading the campaign against Afghanistan’s opium industry. Yet, despite signs of what the US drugs policy chief describes as “real progress” in some areas, the US is no nearer to achieving victory in its war on drugs.
Initiative petitioners have faced plenty of obstacles collecting signatures over the past couple of years. When they weren’t being chased off public property by government employees, they were forced to comply with unconstitutional rules that required them to gather autographs in rural outposts and then have voters sign confusing affidavits in addition to the petitions.
A secret elite lobby has achieved one of the greatest reversals of Government policy in modern history: the decision to relax the laws on cannabis.