Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Cannabis Reclassification.

BBC NEWS | Politics | Row looming over cannabis grading
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is expected to reclassify cannabis as a Class B drug - against the advice of officials.
Go and listen to the interview from the Today program this morning, and then scream. Ian Johnston is the president of the police superintendents association, but also happens to be a COMPLETE FUCKING RETARD.
Davis: So just to be absolutely clear, you don't think the classification system should be based on the best academic scientific evidence about the harm the drugs do, it should be based on the signal you want to send people and the ferocity of that signal.

Johnston: Absolutely.
Yeah, screw science, we need to send a message! I know we shouldn't be looking at "facts" and all that rubbish, but here's the killer:

"Only 3 per cent of people polled by the mental health charity Rethink said a change in classification would deter them from smoking cannabis."
-From the Guardian

Oh, so changing classification won't make actually make a difference to people smoking it? Shit. Oh yeah, and the Police have said they won't be arresting people for posession in normal circumstances, and will continue their police of "confiscate and warn". So they're sending a message, by keeping the same policy. You see?

In the interview, Ian Johnston goes on to compare the issue with drink-driving thirty years ago saying we need to educate the public about cannabis, and I think that's a good point. He fails to realise though that reclassification, against scientific evidence, is not education. And as Evan Davis points out, people are not likely to believe your education campaigns in the future if you lie to them now.

The Guardian also published a good comment piece on the issue:
As in the past, that threat will be no deterrent as users know it will be imposed only rarely. But a small minority, who for whatever reason the authorities turn against, will find themselves thrown into jail. For them, a policy based on appearances rather than fact will come at a very real price.
My final annoyance is with the continued use of the word "lethal". Gordon Brown says he's worried about the "more lethal" use of Skunk. "Lethal" means "capable of causing death" and nobody has ever died as a direct result of smoking cannabis. Brown is just plain lying.

1 comment:

Jim Bliss said...

I actually think the entire cabinet are closet tokers and they're using the word "lethal" as a kind of approving slang.

Jacqui: Fucking hell Gordon, have you tried this new batch of White Widow that Milliband brought back from Amsterdam? It's well lethal, mate.

Gordon: Pass us the bong then.