Pre-election nerves are getting out of hand. Consider the weekend madness from the Home Office on drugs. The new Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, once confessed to The Times that he was eager not to appear a liberal. He has duly ordered a review of the classification of cannabis on the Government’s list of banned drugs.
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.
IF YOU type the words “Tony Blair, Daily Mail, humiliating” into Google, it will provide you with
9,620 results. The nature of internet search engines is such that not all of these will be stories about the Prime Minister in that newspaper in which he was indicted with that term - but if only 5 per cent of them were, then it would represent a striking pattern.
Aside from unverifiable conjecture, supporters of the status quo on marijuana rely on a few claims that can be checked against the facts. Most commonly, they argue marijuana is far more potent today than ever before and therefore more dangerous.