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back to article Jacqui Smith un-downgrades cannabis

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, standing in front of a tired-looking Gordon Brown, told the House of Commons today she would ignore advice from the government's scientific advisors and upgrade the classification of cannabis from C to B. Smith decided to ignore advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs which has …

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Coat

Why pay attention to the facts?

When there's a potentially favourable Daily Mail front page at stake?

The one with the lead weights in please, pass it over to Ms Smith and throw her over the side.

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Coat

safe to do now

now that labour has lost its hold on london and then there is no need to humour the "creative meadia" types or wasters as known by people with propers jobs.

still if some dead heads or "cool media" types want to smoke themselves silly thats fine.....

shouldnt the govenrment be doing something about reducing the tax burden on people and reducing the cost of living? far more a meance to society?

of course, no the people who would have made do until there earnings were cut short by the tax increases may have to resort to selling the stuff to earn their daily bread!

good jobs we have som amny empty prisons?

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Paris Hilton

If we ever needed evidence that this goverment has lost touch

... this is it.

PH because she probably knows more about cannabis that Jacqui Smith... and also clearly has a better understanding of scientific advice.

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Anonymous Coward

Lethal paraphernalia

"could curtail the sale and promotion of cannabis paraphernalia"

Have you visited Amsterdam? Have you bought a postcard, little tin with leaf on it, a glass pipe. Do you think you're a criminal because of it?

Vote the fookers out.

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Anonymous Coward

Curtail sale of paraphanalia???

Never stopped us when I were a lad... we used to make our own. Anything is possible with a 2 litre bottle and a piece of copper pipe...

Doesn't matter what they do though, it'll never stop the sale, illegal cultivation, and use of cannabis in the UK. Raising the classification would just put it in the league of harder drugs (cocaine, amphetamines, etc). Lowering the classification just puts it in the same league as alcohol and tobacco, with the same problems (smuggling, black market sales etc).

And for the IT angle? Well, I'm in IT and I used to smoke it...

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Unhappy

So...

This is the new listening Government*

*I use the word government in the loosest sense of course

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Linux

Would you believe it!

Gordon McBoring not listening to other people who actually know what they are talking about. What a turn up for the books......;-) This guy who in name only ('cause God knows isn't an elected one) is the Prime Minister, will soon realise that the vast majority of the occasional 'chill out' smokers are not getting drunk and cauing a public nightmare for others. Are the police going to do anything about us.....er no - their hands are full dealing with binge drinkers.

I await new Government 'League Tables' for the number of people arrested for having posession of a joint. You watch it will become part of the funding critera, just so McBoring can get his way.

/The Penguin 'cause they could be a better Prime Minister

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Linux

You got it all wrong

By reclassifying the drug they can say that they are tough on crime even though being caught with a gun (5 year sentence) results in community services or a slap on the wrist.

Smoking weed does not make you violent, may make you want to eat more, possibly become an ARTISTE but violent criminal no.

Honestly what are most of the IT people going to do now while waiting to get to the pub for a pint.

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Anonymous Coward

Huge waste of everybody's time.

I really can't see that this is going to change anything. It certainly won't change the behaviour of the users.

This whole story would just be a foot-note if there were any actual news happening at the moment.

Gotta laugh at our new PM though; he's hardly covered himself in glory so far, and describing cannabis as 'lethal' does nothing for my confidence in him.

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Coat

Of course

by keeping it illegal, it stops them from taxing it.

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Tim
Happy

Whoa maaaannn!

Sounds like they want to make sure nobody enjoys themselves any more. I am no pot-head (it makes me feel proper sick), but i am pretty sure it's less lethal than drinking and smoking tobacco. I doubt Brown has ever smoked skunk as he seems incapable of enjoying himself anyway. Maybe Jacqui would be better suggesting that Brown and Darling legalise and then tax it. That would have the dour scots bugger rubbing his hands. It would also stop all the illegal activity as most people would want to get it from the shops rather than the local smackhead!

Smiley face......Aceeeeeed! (sorry, early nineties catching up with me there).

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Thumb Down

Current strategy is working...

... So quick - change it.

Can't have a successful strategy, that would destroy our 100% !@%$ up rating!

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Black Helicopters

What a missed opportunity....

They have a scientific study which says that there is no link to the various problems people have been worried about. That would give them a window of opportunity to legalise it and tax it.

They could disapprove of it, which would allow them to up taxes each budget, and gain another source of revenue.

They then have a nice stick to beat the home growers with, namely trying to avoid the duty on marijuana. They can control the strength through the licensing, like they do with alcohol. And the Tory press won't be whinging about stealth taxes on dope....

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Bronze badge

What's wrong with our system?

Here's the problem:

"David Davies, Tory shadow Home Secretary, welcomed the decision."

In a sensible system, the left wing party would oppose this sort of move while the right wing would propose it. Healthy debate would ensue.

In our current system, nulabour propose it while the cheerleading tories simply say it's a shame we can't string them up on the first suspicion of an offence.

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Listen and Learn

Maybe it was my imagination but in the recent trouncing (I can't think of a better word) that Labour received at the polls I distinctly remember both Gordon Brown and Jacqui Smith stating that they would "listen and learn". Well they're still not listening so what have we learned?

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jai
Silver badge

which is worse?

where's the greater danger to society?

a load druggies smoking themselves into a lethargic half-awake state, too paranoid to leave the house?

or binge-drinking teenagers, getting beer'd up in the evenings, and beating the hell out of each other in the middle of the streets, wrecking property, throwing up their kebab and chips in your front garden as they stager home and walking over parked cars?

now, which is the easiest for the government to appear to be dealing with?

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Silver badge

ACPO versus WOMAD

> She also said she was talking to Acpo to see how they could curtail the sale

> and promotion of cannabis paraphernalia. Presumably this would be aimed at

> pipes and rolling papers and such, but we would further suggest woolly hats,

> combat trousers, prog rock albums

So, now we know what happened to Peter Gabriel's webserver.

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Anonymous Coward

Lethal?

"Lethal" means it kills you. "More lethal" means nothing at all.

How did this man get to run the country? Well, he is the obvious choice for a party that decides to ignore it's own advisory committee.

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Anonymous Coward

But why?

Given that people taking cannabis know they are breaking the law but do it anyway, why on earth does anyone think the classification will make any difference to it's use? The classification is only an administrative matter for the police, users don't consider the consequences of getting caught.

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Paris Hilton

Selling near universities

So, is this yet another case of the government telling us that the same people who must go to university so that they can exploit their fantastic intellects, are too stupid to make a decision about anything concerning their own health or decide whether or not they want to laugh at squirrels for a few hours?

Christ, the medical students I know seem to take more drugs than just about anybody else.

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Anonymous Coward

Gordon's listening . . .

. . to the rising howl of protest at his pig-headed, unimaginative and downright crass leadership! Oh, he's going to 'feel our hurt' alright - in a little under two years if I remember rightly.

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Wow Man

now you can get 5 years in the pokey for possesion, so for wanting to sit at home giggling you can now cost the taxpayer a bloody fortune, fools.

think i'll go down a bottle of vodka, club some random numptie with the empty, piss myself, fall over and bust my head open, then its off to casualty for some taxpayer funded treatment and i can even amuse myself verbally and physically abusing the hospital staff, ahh a full evening for many.

and dont get caught with those mushrooms that grow the length and breadth of the country they'll give you 7 years for that

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Paris Hilton

Some for me!

Skunk being 'vastly' stronger than normal weed makes it 'lethal', eh?

It doesn't mean that you just smoke less, then, Mr. Brown?

I mean; Whiskey is ten times stronger than lager, so by the government's logic, it's 'lethal' because people go out and drink ten pints of it!

Paris... because even she could follow this basic maths.

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Anonymous Coward

Look I made a bong out of my head!

Banning paraphernalia is going to have zero effect. The ingredients for a spliff are the same as for a roll your own cigarette. As for bongs/pipes all you need is: drinks bottle, straws & aluminium foil.

In the words of Dennis Leary - "Smoking pot doesn't lead to other drugs, smoking pot leads to carpentry"

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Black Helicopters

Fuck it...

...pass me the skins, I'm gonna choke another one before my front door gets kicked in and I get dragged off...

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Thumb Down

Aggravating circumstances

"...including selling cannabis near colleges, universities, mental health facilities and prisons..."

This makes no sense. Primary schools would make sense, but university? Universities and colleges are cannabis' natural environment! Presumably it's so people don't smoke it and then do something stupid like decide to join the Labour party and take up a career in politics like they did.

Besides, since it turns you into a psychotic killer, mental health facilities and prisons are surely going to be the main market.

@ AC - safe to do now

"still if some dead heads or "cool media" types want to smoke themselves silly thats fine....."

In English, sentences start with capital letters. If your going to cast aspersions about my intelligence and employment, you should have, at the very least, a rudimentary grasp of grammar and punctuation in order to prevent you appearing a pillock.

I need a Guy Fawkes icon as he had the right idea.

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Ash
Boffin

What really happened

"Mr Brown, we've found no stastically significant between higher risk of mental illness and smoking marijuana, in any form. We recommend you don't change the classification from C to B. We are unanimous in this decision."

"Huh? Oh, sorry... Man, this shit's sweet... Got any Jaffa Cakes? Fuck it... You were saying... Errr... Saying... Weed ain't that bad for you? Or something... Dude go make us all some tea... I'd love some tea right now..."

"Uhhh, Mr Brown... Your eyes are a little red and you seem lethargic. Do you require medical attention?"

"Oh, shit man naw, i'm fuckin' sweet... But seriously, can one of you go get some Dorittos? I want the fucking party size bag man... And a chocolate gateau! GET A GATEAU MAN! Awww that would be awesome OH MAN I NEED TO GO TO BED OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT"

"..."

*Next Morning"

"Good Morning Mr Brown, have you come to a decision regarding the classification of Marijuana?"

"What? Oh, yeah, sure... Uhhh... I was looking over the research last night... Err... My dog must have eaten my notes... Errr... I'll just make it Class B. It'll look good on crime figures, anyway."

True story.

*NB. The characters portrayed in this dialogue are purely fictitious, and any resemblance to any person, alive or dead, is purely coincidental. Hell, if that disclaimer is good enough for Hollywood, it's good enough for me.

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Unhappy

Nanny State

Being Scottish myself I would like to take this opportunity to distance myself from the antics of Mr.Brown.

I think any laws that contradict the "no victim, no crime" argument only serves to push us further down the road towards a nanny state and I for one would like to see this Brown Government removed asap before they cause any more damage to this country.

The very fact that he describes the drug as "lethal" should have alarm bells ringing with his own part never mind anyone else. Bushism anyone?

Surely legalisation, regulation and education (and many other words ending in "-tion") should be the way forward.

-anon

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Paris Hilton

Can we club 'em?

They don't listen to the public, they wont listen to the experts, what's left - the voices in their heads?

Paris, cos I think she deserves a slap as well - humph!

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Cannabis causes violence...

according to the police bod on the radio today, which last week was caused by binge drinking. How come the police can jump on the latest lock-everyone-up-it-saves-time-later bandwagon but still take 2 weeks to turn up after reporting kids chucking rocks at cars off bridges .

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Black Helicopters

WTF

How much taxpayers money is wasted on paying these 'government's scientific advisors'. It would not surprise me if said 'advisors' are family members employed to bump up a politician's inadequate pay.

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Another unenforceable law to be ignored

They can't even enforce 70 mph speeding limits on motorways which probably results in more deaths than cannabis ever will.

So if you smoke weed I wouldn't worry, the chances of getting caught are pretty slim. Especially given the amount of over stretched policemen you see about these days.

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this makes no sense

They want to reclassify it because it may harm the user? What happened to freedom?

I've never actually tried it, and I'm not inclined to, but that doesn't mean that I'm not all in favour of letting other people do whatever the hell they want to as long as the only person it affects is themselves...

If there had been a spate of killings, where people got high and then went on a murderous spree, then I could maybe see the logic in banning it, but here we have a substance people use for recreation, doesn't cause them to get violent, research indicates that it has no serious health implications, so why the hell do we ban it?

As others have said, legalising it would open the door to taxation and regulation, which are surely much better ways to deal with this than simple banning it, closing our eyes and hoping it goes away...

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Farce....

.... quite simply.

This will do nothing to stop people using the drug; it will only put hippies behind bars ahead of racist/sectarian thugs.

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Pirate

I have a problem with authority

Thank you Mr Brown you have made dope smoking socially acceptable again.

Can I have some of what he's having? I can feel a long spell of economic depression coming on and as there are plenty of daytime TV channels these days...

Ta

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The problem with weed...

Is that is screws your short term memory.

The other problem with weed is that it screws your short term memory.

Finally, given the current "credit crunch", in the words of Freewheelin' Franklin:

"Dope gets you through times of no money better than money gets you through times of no dope"

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Anonymous Coward

@AC

This is the new listing govt more like - holed beneath the waterline and limping towards the next election.

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Re: Lethal paraphernalia

My dad is an artist (painter sculptor, photographer, poet). He wanted one of the pipes because it was a beautiful piece of work. He definitely doesn't smoke weed.

But because of the paraphernalia, he figured all he'd do by buying it was to give it to the customs people.

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Paris Hilton

@Steve

"In English, sentences start with capital letters. If your going to cast aspersions about my intelligence and employment, you should have, at the very least, a rudimentary grasp of grammar and punctuation in order to prevent you appearing a pillock."

Your appearing a pillock to.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

ffs!

@ Steve - :) well said mate - both the guy fawkes comment and the response to AC. many of us here are well paid professionals, not working in 'the arts'. now, if they send us to chokey (not again lol) what is that achieving? costing tax payers money for nothing. to define a crime you must surely have a victim? who is the victim?

this government MUST go - the problem is who to replace them? the tories? FFS not after last time! lib dems? - bunch of hopeless well meaning idiots - would you trust them to run the country?

we are screwed - turns out the left wing is as, if not more, right wing as the tories!

arghhhhhhhhh!

maybe we should all demonstrate - oh, this gov banned that too!

shall we make our own political party? call it 'no bollocks, we'll listen' and im sure we could win!

i have a feeling tories will get in next - and since im not upper middle class im fuckered then too! i think either way we are screwed - i have no confidence in anyone from whitehall these days.

also, here's a good one, did anyone see a program on TV a while ago where they were trying to get PMs to pass a law that an MP lieing would be a criminal offence - i mean lots of other industries you cannot lie so how come politicians can just come out with any old bollocks and never get repremanded. i mean, maybe 2 strikes and out law? it might make them actually care about what shit they spout. obviously the MPs decided that lieing was wrong, every other industry should still get hammered for lieing but politicians shouldnt! hypocrites!

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Flame

Outrageous

Isn't it a government's job to protect its people? Not control them or tell them what is sinful and what isn't. We might not have to hear it couched in religious terms but our government is heading to the same messed up places as the Americans. I'm sorry but I don't think I should have to give up rights to battle terrorism and if people want to smoke pot, let them. The other poster was right, whisky is 'lethal' if people drink pints of the stuff but thats perfectly legal.

If anyone wants to do something about this send me a note at red_dawn@hushmail.com

Fire because we might have to burn it all down before we can rebuild.

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Anonymous Coward

"selling cannabis near ... prisons..."

Um.... Near prisons???

Why is that worse than selling it near an office block, it's not like the lags can just pop out and buy some is it?

Unless they've got a ladder of course...

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Unhappy

Wasted my time

Well I've wasted my time contacting Gordon Brown and Jacqui Smith and my local MP just to see what they will say.

I don't care what classification Cannabis is as long as its done fairly and its well researched and is sound policy. But they go and waste my money getting a report only to ignore it, not good.

To contact GB asking him why he said cannabis is lethal when the lethal dose its 1500 pounds consumed orally click below :)

http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page821.asp

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Jobs Horns

gotta make you laugh

Quote "Cannabis use has fallen significantly across all age ranges and this is a testament to the success of the previous ten year Drug Strategy"

That's because the use of cocaine has increased significantly and no-one likes to smoke pot while on coke :-P

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So let me get this straight

- You have a policy which works perfectly well for ten years.

- The police like the policy and agree with it.

- You commission a scientific report which supports the policy (and presumably cost a fair bit).

But no, bugger all that. Let's go ahead and change it anyway.

Has Brown never heard the phrase that starts 'If it ain't broke...'?

G

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Tom
Heart

Dear 'The Reg'

PLEASE! Jacqui smith confused logo, I've asked for it before but she's out stripping even Steve Jobs bashing stories now.

And Ms Smith, Would you please fuck off and die. I mean that.

(PS http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/44301000/jpg/_44301223_jacquismith203cr_pa.jpg , Just needs a photoshopped dunce hat)

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Bronze badge

There is no democratic recourse.

Brown knows he'll be out in 2010 and there's nothing you can do to stop him having his way with your mother in the meantime.

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Paris Hilton

Gateway drug?

Cannabis is often called a gateway drug. If this re-classification has the intended effect and users start going to prison then it certainly will be. After all, due to the wonderful prison drug testing, cannabis is avoided (it takes far too long to get out of your system) so these cannabis users will likely end up coming out hooked on something far worse.

Paris - should be obvious!

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Anonymous Coward

@Huw Davies

Have you got Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers No 6?

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