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The Great "Class C" debate

Thursday 29th January, 2004: The long awaited day when the cannabis law was eventually reformed: Only not much really changed.

In 2001 the then new Home Secretary David Blunkett announced the intention to reclassify cannabis under the Misuse of Drugs Act, accepting the fact that cannabis is safer than most other drugs.

As time dragged by the reform was made almost meaningless by changes to the definition of cannabis within class C. However, it probably means that most of the millions of normal, well adjusted and otherwise law abiding people who use cannabis will no longer come into conflict with the police and fewer lives will be wrecked by a pointless draconian law. It's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, just.

It's important to understand that these changes were forced onto the government by widespread contempt for the previous law. It remains to be seen how much more respect this timid change brings about. UKCIA believes more changes are needed and that more will come, eventually...

A Murphy A122 valve radioRadio phone-in programmes from the period running up to reclassification reflected the surge in "reefer madness" scares promoted by the tabloid media. The following recordings have been edited to remove music, traffic reports etc. You may have to download them before playing.

The Moral Maze - 28-01-04 12.2 mB MP3
Jeremy Vine phone-in BBC Radio 2 - 26.01.04
7.54 Mb MP3
Julian Worricker 22.01.04 BBC Radio 5live 17.5mB MP3
Passion feedback
- Oxford local radio 1.2.04 10.8mB
Don Barnard excerpt from above 1.2.04 2.3mB

Reclassification explained!
UKCIA guide to the great class C revolution! December 2003.

ACMD report
'The classification of cannabis under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act ' backs Blunkett's reclassification of cannabis.

A Review of Drugs Policy and Proposals for the Future'
ACPO report reviewing the progress achieved so far towards the Government's drugs objectives.

The Home Affairs Select Committee initial announcement
The Home Affairs Select Committee final report
Fallout from the report

UKCIA reporting the plan to reclassify

23rd October 2001

Common Sense on Cannabis
Peter Lilley (ex-deputy leader of the Conservative party): The Conservative Case for Change

The police foundation report
Policing the possession of cannabis, residents views on the Lambeth experiment
(pdf format)

Crime Figures Vindicate Embattled Met Police Commander

Guardian report from 22nd March 2002

UKCIA comment
to the Home Afairs report - June 2002

UKCIA reaction
to Blunketts proposal to downgrade cannabis to class C July 2002

ACPO Guidlines
Police guidlines on cannabis enforcement following reclassification

UKCIA reaction
to Blunketts proposal to downgrade cannabis to class C July 2003

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