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REPRESS RELEASE: NO EMBARGO: 22 MAY 2002
LEGALISE CANNABIS ALLIANCE, PO BOX 198, NORWICH, NR3 3WB

HOME AFFAIRS COMMITTEE SAY MP'S LACK COURAGE.

On Wednesady 22 May, the Home Affair's Committee issued their report "The Government's Drugs Policy: Is it Working?"  (ISBN 0 215 003349]

Amongst the recommendations in the report are the downgrading of cannabis and Ecstasy and the increased availability of prescription diamorphine for addicts.

This is in line with previous recommendations from the Police Foundation and follows at least some of the proposals already contemplated by David Blunkett, the Home Secretary.

The Legalise Cannabis Alliance are disappointed that the Committee feels itself unable to take the brave step of proposing full legalisation of cannabis and that they have failed to consider the law on cultivation of the plant.

According to Paragraph 275 of the report: "Finally, many sensible and thoughtful people have argues that we should go a
step further and embrace legalisation and regulation of all or most presently illegal drugs.  We acknowledge there are some attractive arguments.  However, those who urge this course upon us are inviting us to take a step into the unknown.  To tread where no other society has trod.  They are asking us to gamble the undoubted potential gains against the inevitability of a significant increase in the number of users, especially amongst the very young.  They are
overlooking the fact that the overwhelming majority of young people do not use drugs and that many are deterred by the prospect of breaking the law.  we, therefore, decline to support legalisation and regulation."

Alun Buffry, National Coordinator of the Legalise Cannabis Alliance said today: "The Committee seem to be admitting that they lack the courage to take a sensible and thoughtful step towards legalisation because it is unknown territory.  They think it is better to be in the frying pan rather than risk the fire.  But for cannabis, the Legalise Cannabis Alliance supporters pay more heed to scientific evidence and human rights rather than anecdote and trepidation.  We see there is no fire and that the frying pan - the chaos in society caused by illegal drugs - is becoming unbearably hot!"

As Paragraph 3 of the report says "With a handful of brave exceptions -- drugs policy is an area where British politicians have feared to tread.."; it appears that the politicians on the Committee are, by their own admission, not amongst
those brave exceptions."

Don Barnard, Press Officer 0789 4255015  DonBarnard@lca-uk.org
Alun Buffry, National Coordinator 01603 442215  AlunBuffry@lca-uk.org


NOTES FOR EDITORS
The Legalise Cannabis Alliance (LCA) was formed as a political party in the UK in 1999 and contested 13 seats at the last general election gaining an average vote of 1.6%.

LCA Publication "Cannabis: Legalise and Utilise": ISBN 09535693 1 4

Alun Buffry gave oral evidence to the Home Affairs Committee on 6 November 2001.

For your information the full Home Affairs report will be available on line from http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmhaff.htm

Home Affairs Contact details: 7 Millbank, London, SWIP 3JA, e-mail: homeaffcom@parliament.uk
Tel: 020 7219 3276 Fax: 020 7219 2744 Website:

 

http://www.parliament.uk/commons/selcom/home.htm

Committee Office Information Line tel: 020 7219 2033