In 2001, my predecessor David Blunkett commissioned the Advisory Council to provide a report on the classification of cannabis. The subsequent publication of March 2002 ‘The classification of cannabis under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971’ recommended that cannabis should be reclassified to a Class C drug from Class B. The Government was content to accept that recommendation and in January 2004 the necessary legal changes were made with the full backing of the Association of Chief Police Officers.
A YOUNG man caught by police with almost a kilo of herbal cannabis on him in Hitchin has been sentenced to two years in custody.
In the United States, possession and distribution of marijuana is nominally illegal. But you don’t have to be Tommy Chong to know that pot’s legal status is cloudy and confused. Growing and using “medical” marijuana is legal in 11 states, and in cities like San Francisco it’s easy enough to find locally grown product. In addition to being inconsistent, as critics have long pointed out, the federal ban is also irrational. It treats marijuana differently than similar products for no obvious reason. People use prescription drugs, pot, and alcohol for the same purposes: to get high, relax, and dull pain. The consequences of abuse are similar: crashed cars, disease, and lots of wasted time. So, what makes marijuana special?
In 1971, President Nixon declared that drugs were America’s No. 1 enemy. This date is considered to be the start of the “War on Drugs.” Since that time, the War on Drugs has grown to be a costly, ineffective, and damaging policy that has created a tremendous crime problem, sapped federal funds, and imprisoned millions of Americans, all while doing almost nothing to solve the problem of drug abuse. It is imperative that America stops deluding itself into thinking the drug war is effective and begins to enact serious changes. At the bare minimum, medicinal marijuana should be legalized nationwide. Furthermore, minor drugs (e.g. marijuana) should be decriminalized or legalized completely.