Monday 26 January 2009

(Not) informing the drugs debate

Today Programme. 7.10am slot. The Deputy Chair of the Magistrates Association is on, a John Fasselfelt is on.

The Association has fully welcomed - indeed, vocally campaigned for - the government's decision to upgrade cannabis to a plan B drug, which comes into effect today. But their complaint today is about the sentencing guidelines which come with this. They aren't as serious for possession as for other class B drugs. Less cases will get into a court setting, he complains, and that's unfair. What if you were caught with cannabis and I had some other class B drug, he asks James Naughtie.

Who reasonably asks what, for information, are those other Class B drugs which he is sure cannabis must be treated identically.

"You've got me there". He hasn't got the foggiest. Not a clue. "I'm not a big user of Class B drugs", he says. (No, just an expert advocate on what drugs should and should not be in that class).

Well done.

Here they are.

The lesson: perhaps the government might listen a little more to its scientific advisors (whose advice was ignored in this case), and a little less to the chuntering magistrates.

Postscript: Must be a bad day for it. The following interview sees somebody from the UN Relief Agency give an astonishingly poor case for emergency relief to Gaza, placing the focus squarely on the funding mandates and shortfall in the agency budget.

1 comment:

DocRichard said...

I suppose they could order convicted cannabis criminals to have their index and middle fingers cut off, to prevent recidivism...