> I'm looking forward to reading what the Dourly Moral will have to say
> about this.
> Drugs classification should be scrapped, experts say
> A leading think-tank has called for the Government’s system of drugs
> classification to be scrapped.
> By Christopher Hope, Home Affairs Editor Last Updated: 8:26PM BST 22 Sep
> The UK Drugs Policy Commission says classifying illegal drugs on a
> “danger scale” of classes A, B or C needs to be overhauled because
> they do not affect drug use.
> The news comes ahead of a meeting this Friday when the Home Office’s
> independent Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs will discuss whether
> to downgrade ecstasy from class A.
> Ecstasy remains the third most popular illicit drug in Britain, with five
> per cent of young adults aged 16 to 24 saying they have used it in the
> last year.
> The council, which is made up of 21 academics and drugs experts, provides
> advice to Governments on illegal drug use and is expected to recommend
> downgrading the drug from A to B.
> Reports from the Police Foundation in 2000, the Commons Home Affairs
> Committee in 2002 and the Commons Science and Technology Committee in 2006
> have all favoured the move.
> However the Commission warned the council in a submission that Home
> Secretary Jacqui Smith is likely to over-rule any decision to downgrade,
> in a re-run of the row over cannabis earlier this year.
> Then, the council's recommendation that cannabis should remain a class C
> drug was ignored by Miss Smith who decided to reclassify the drug on
> health grounds.
> The Commission says: “The UKDPC does not want to second-guess the
> council’s final conclusions about ecstasy. However were it to recommend
> a lower classification then it is not unreasonable to anticipate a
> political response to that with cannabis.”
> The Commission was heavily critical of what it describes as the
> “increased polticisation” of drugs’ classification.
> Roger Howard, Chief Executive, UK Drug Policy Commission, told The Daily
> Telegraph yesterday: “The purpose and operation of the drug
> classification system has become increasingly confused amongst politicians
> and the public in recent years.
> “The time has come for an independent wholesale review of the system to
> clarify how a scientific rating of drug harms should be used for drug
> classifications and for wider applications such as setting policing
> priorities or public health messages.”
> Members of the commission include the chairman Dame Ruth Runciman, a
> former council member who chaired a Police Foundation inquiry which argued
> for ecstasy to be moved to class B seven years ago, Professor Colin
> Blakemore, the former chief executive of the Medical Research Council and
> David Blakey, a former Chief Constable and HM inspector of constabulary.
> The council is expected to make its decision on ecstasy next year.
> Dr John Watson
> Baker Street