cannabis and messy legislation

Class B / Class C who cares? I very much doubt many people who  smoke cannabis do. To be frank I don’t give a damn.

In spite of the report and recommendations made by  The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to keep it a class C drug Jacqui Smith, though having enjoyed a toke in the past, thinks that the availability of more potent strains i.e.  skunk justifies reclassifying it to a class B.

The reclassification did not go quite according to plan.  The intention was to enpower police officers to issue a warning for a first-time offence of possession, a second offence and an £80 on-the-spot fine would be incurred,  and a third would lead to arrest. The fact that the proposed tariff of enforcement differs quite significantly from the penalties for other class B drugs is one thing. The joke however is that the police were albeit for a short time unable to impose the on the spot fine.

In December 2008 shortly before the reclassification on the 26th January the Ministry of Justice withdrew the parliamentary order that was to give the police power to issue the penalty notice for disorder (PND) required to impose the £80 fine. This hic-cup was resolved on the 26th. Two Lords considered a hastily prepared motion to add the offence of cannabis posession to the PND scheme that very evening. They both had a some interesting things to say about the reclassification though despite some reservations agreed the motion.

Who care’s? Well it’s not likely to be any children or  “young people” that like a spliff. Anyone under 17 or those judged to be vulnerable  cannot be given a Cannabis Warning or a PND for possession of cannabis. Not sure what happens to them. A trip down the station if they’re unlucky and a referral to the local young offenders scheme or mental health services perhaps? Here’s a link to the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) guidance on the subject if you’re interested.

Seems a little bit redundent to me. After all is it not children and the vulnerable whom are considered most at risk from smoking cannabis? Yet here we have a law supposedly designed to combat the scurge of cannabis use that does not apply to them.

Seems like somethings messed with the minds of those behind this change in law. A few psychotropics might do them a bit of good.

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