Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Friday, November 02, 2007

Drug classification beset by confusion [UK]

[ 01/11/2007- The Guardian ] In looking at the reclassification of cannabis in 2004 you claim "Ministers are coy about the success of their policy" in reducing use (Leaders, October 29). Let us be careful about spurious associations. In fact, cannabis use among school children was broadly stable according to a 2001-03 English school survey and has since declined. For adults, according to the British Crime Survey, cannabis use peaked in 2002-03 and has subsequently declined. The classification of a drug has little bearing on its prevalence, as the figures demonstrate.

There is no evidence here or internationally that the particular classification of a controlled drug acts as a deterrent to use.

Economic, social and cultural factors, along with availability, are the stronger influences. (the decline commenced prior to the Class B -> C UK reclassification, but may be in part a response to London Met. Det Chief Super, Eddie Ellison's 'Policing management' call to deal with cannabis by 'means other than arrest' /Blair )

There is a general confusion surrounding the purpose and function of the classification system. In the UK it currently provides a steer to national and local policing priorities , prosecution and sentencing practice. (same as in NZ)

Given the recent history of the debate about cannabis, we consider that a review of the entire basis of the classification system and the process for making decisions on drug classifications is overdue. We have made this point in our recent submission to the government consultation about its revised drug strategy. In particular, the opportunity should be taken to review the role of politicians in making decisions about the classification of controlled drugs - for example, to explore whether there are models that place decision-making outside of ministerial influence , as has happened with national statistics, the new Independent Safeguarding Authority and interest rates.

I think this explains why the [dis] Hon "drug Czar" Jim Anderton (and his simpering pathetic staff who cant resist embellishing a simple request for a meeting into a 'terrorising threat' ) chooses to ignore evidence based drug policy.

Blair Anderson ‹(•¿•)›

Social Ecologist 'at large'

ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219

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