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Lilley fights on for legalising cannabis

The St. Albans Observer, 13th December 2002

HARPENDEN MP Peter Lilley has called on the Government to rethink its drug policy and again urged it to reconsider legalising cannabis.

In a Parliamentary debate on the drugs strategy last week, the pro-legalisation MP warned that the re-classification of cannabis to a Class C drug would not break the link between hard and soft drugs.

He said: “I do not believe that the use of cannabis automatically leads to the use of hard drugs. There is no chemical predisposition in cannabis that leads one to use heroin and cocaine.”

He said he would like to see the drug regulated and sold at outlets, such as off licences, for use at home.

It would still be illegal to take the drug in public and would only be available to those over 18.

He added: “Cannabis is available only from the same illegal sources that push hard drugs.

“If we were to provide legal outlets for cannabis with licensing restrictions, those who wish to use the drug could do so legally without coming into contact with the gangs who push hard drugs.

“We would also take the supply of cannabis out of the hands of gangs and reduce their empire and wealth.

“Police time and effort could then be dedicated to combating the illegal supply of hard drugs, which is a much greater problem in society.”

He continued: “We should not look to the state to uphold, preach and enforce what is morally right.

“If we expect everything that is wrong to be made illegal we shall find ourselves in a very unpleasant society.”

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