Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Monday, 26 January 2009

Drug Classification Confusion

Sunder has posted something interesting on Liberal Conspiracy about how the Deputy Chair of the Association of Magistrates who have been campaigning (now successfully) for cannabis to be restored to a class B drug could not name any other drugs that are class B.

I was listening to "More or Less" on Radio 4 from 16th January when the guests were Fraser Nelson, Vince Cable and Charles Clarke. They had been talking about evidence based policy and particularly drugs and towards the end, Tim Harford did a quick quiz where he asked each of them which category certain drugs were in (A, B, C etc.). They mostly got them wrong. I think he spared Charles Clarke's (a former Home Secretary lest we forget) blushes but he admitted that he would have done no better than Vince.

If even some of the most senior people in public life who really should know about this sort of thing do not know which category drugs are in, what hope is there for the rest of us? This really exposes the nonsense of the current system. And to make things even worse, the last two times that the ACMD has advised the government about what they think, they have been ignored (see here and here). The government has now effectively abandoned evidence based policy in this area in order to politically posture.

The organisation Tranform Drug Policy Foundation has some interesting information on this debate and is well worth a visit if you are interested in this area.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One thing they do know is that the two most dangerous drugs to society are not scheduled at all - what of the statutory responsibility to protect the public? Check out