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Cannabis should be legalised in Britain and all other personal drug use decriminalised, delegates voted on Sunday by an overwhelming margin.
They called for the creation of a panel to review the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act so that “possession of any controlled drug for personal use would not be a criminal offence”.
The motion said those caught with hard drugs should be dispatched to a panel of social workers.
It also paved the way for the British government to set up “a strictly controlled and regulated cannabis market” - effectively legalising the drug.
Ewan Hoyle, from South Glasgow, proposed the policy and told the conference that politicians had not tackled the issue because of “cowardice”.
He said: “The motion calls for models of cannabis regulation to be investigated. I personally favour sale from pharmacies.”
George Miles, a delegate sporting a green T-shirt emblazoned with the image of a cannabis leaf, declared: “John Lennon and Eric Clapton didn’t say legalise heroin or cocaine, but Bob Marley says legalise cannabis.”
The plans immediately become binding Liberal Democrat policy, though they will not be enacted by the government because they are not in the coalition agreement.
The proposals will be opposed not just by the Tories but also by the Labour Party, which got into a huge mess over the classification of cannabis.
When the Blair government reduced it to a Class C drug, evidence from scientists about its psychotic properties caused a U-turn.
Tory MP Charles Walker said the Lib Dem motion “sends out the message that taking drugs is okay but it is not”.
He added: “If the Liberal Democrats think taking heroin, cocaine and smoking skunk is OK then that is up to them but the government and I think most people in Britain do not agree with them.” - Daily Mail
Anon E Mouse, wrote
There are already many more dangerous drugs that are legal. Search for research done by David Nutt in the UK.
There are already more harmful legal drugs, namely alcohol which contributes greatly to domestic violence, road accidents and other such crimes. HWy have one and not the other. If people can be responsible with liquor then they can be responsible with cannabis. If we were to legalise cannabis in SA it would free up valuable police time. Also it will cut into a drug trade that funds crime. Local government can issue licenses to special sellersshopscafes which can buy from official BEE growers the profits from which can help fund and uplift poor communities directly. And like tobacco smoking can be restricted to certain areas and like alcohol cannot be done while or before driving. Added to this is it can create a tourist hotspot. I'm sure many more tourists would love to lay on Durban or Cape Town beach and smoke a joint. I see more pros than cons and FYI I don't smoke, do drugs or drink but I certainly won't infringe on anyone else who wants to.
Parents have to decide if they want drug dealers selling cannabis to kids or supermarkets selling cannabis to adults. Decades of prohibition have taught us that "nobody selling cannabis to nobody" is NEVER going to happen! We need supermarkets selling cannabis to adults at prices low enough to prevent illegal competition.
If taking 'drugs', such as cannabis is so bad then why don't the government make alcohol and tobacco illegal? It should be a decision made by the individual, not the government who are either too ignorant or stupid to see that cannabis is not as harmful as they think. They just have to look at the Netherlands, or more recently the US. The liberals have the right idea on this one.
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