Could the UK Also be About to Decriminalise Cannabis?

Curious synchronistic rumblings from the British press seem to suggest a change in the UK’s laws on recreational drugs might be in the offing, after the US cannabis lobby’s recent successes. The bad news first, it won’t be until at least 2015 and the current official stance on the matter, reported by The Daily Mail, is predictably inane:

Last night, a government spokesperson said: ‘Drugs are illegal because they are harmful – they destroy lives and blight communities.

‘Our current laws draw on the best available evidence[1] and as such we have no intention of downgrading or declassifying cannabis.

‘A Royal Commission on drugs is simply not necessary. Our cross-government approach is working.

‘Drug usage is at its lowest level since records began and people going into treatment today are far more likely to free themselves from dependency than ever before.

‘We will respond to the report more fully in due course.’

Full story in The Daily Mail

However the above is taken from an article with the heading: “Treat addicts, don’t lock them up: MPs pave way to legalise drugs as they admit prison sentences are failing to deter offenders“. There are rumours that the Commons Home Affairs Committee, established to look at the UK’s drugs laws, might be about to suggest a form of decriminalisation. The full report will be out on Monday but all the timings imply this will become an election issue in Britain.

Nick Margerrison

[1] Best possible evidence? This is a bit of an odd thing to say given that the previous Government, the last to really tinker with the UK’s recreational drugs laws, sacked their top adviser, Professor David Nutt. His evidence flatly supported the decriminalisation of both MDMA and cannabis on the grounds that they weren’t as harmful as alcohol.

, , , ,

  • BuzzCoastin

    Ironically, most of the people involved with enforcing the prohibition
    have used or are still using cannabis.
    So much for the pot enlightens people argument.

    • Liam_McGonagle

      It’s really just a more efficient redefinition of the problem. The UK have decided to criminalize poor people full-stop, instead of the myriad of activities they enjoy. Also, as you mentioned, there is the problematic cross-demographic character of herb enjoyment.

21