U.K. Home Secretary Supports Stricter Classification for Cannabis

UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman is considering assigning cannabis a stricter classification under the country’s drug laws over concerns that marijuana is a gateway drug and could lead to serious health problems. Braverman’s review follows recent calls from fellow law enforcement leaders to reclassify cannabis as a Class A drug in the same category assigned to substances including heroin, cocaine and ecstasy. It’s what follows.

Braverman opposes the decriminalization of cannabis, saying efforts to reform cannabis policy send a “cultural” symbol that marijuana use is acceptable. report from TimesThe Home Secretary is also concerned about evidence that cannabis use can lead to serious physical health problems such as cancer and birth defects, as well as mental health conditions such as psychosis.

The UK government has now designated cannabis as a Class B drug, punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment for possession and up to 14 years for production or trafficking. A stricter Class A drug designation for cannabis makes the penalties for marijuana offenses tougher. This includes imprisonment of up to seven years and up to life in prison for marijuana producers and suppliers.An unidentified source close to Braverman said Times The interior secretary believes harsher penalties are warranted because they act as a deterrent to cannabis use and trafficking.

“We have to scare people,” she reportedly said.

The move to more strictly classify cannabis continues the Conservative government’s move to tackle illegal drug use. In July, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the government ministry responsible for law and order, immigration and security, released a white paper revealing a proposal to revoke the driver’s licenses and passports of those with multiple drug-related convictions.

Law enforcement leaders demand tougher penalties for weed

The Home Office’s support for strengthening the government’s classification of cannabis follows a call earlier this week by law enforcement administrators to reclassify marijuana as a Class A drug. It said it had no plans to reclassify, but cannabis policy reform activists characterized the idea as “dangerous” and “crazy.”

At a Conservative Party conference in Birmingham last week, a group of police and crime commission officials said marijuana was “just a little bit of weed.”

Police and Crime Commissioners are elected officials who oversee law enforcement activities in England and Wales, but are not directly involved in passing criminal laws or managing the police.

At a rally in Birmingham, the police and crime commission called for changes in cannabis policy, saying “it’s time to realize it’s not just a little bit of weed”. Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner David Sidwick said cannabis was “harming” communities.

“We look at it because it’s a gateway drug,” he said.

Sidwick, who previously worked in the pharmaceutical industry, argued that “a wealth of new data” on the health effects of cannabis had come to light, deserving a “re-evaluation” of penalties related to cannabis crime. He added that law enforcement is needed in relation to drug education and rehabilitation, and that designating cannabis as a Class A drug would clarify enforcement policy.

“There are so many drug-related crimes that actually addressing this and providing this clarity will allow the police to do what they need to do,” he said.

But research does not support the theory that marijuana is a gateway drug that leads users to more harmful or addictive substances. Report from the Drug Policy Alliance Marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug in the world, but it has not been proven to have a real gateway effect.

“Research shows that the majority of people who use marijuana never use other illicit drugs, so marijuana can more accurately be described as a ‘doomsday’ drug,” the report said. increase.

Pot activists characterize plan as ‘crazy’

Peter Reynolds, president of CLEAR, which campaigns against cannabis bans, said the proposal to reclassify cannabis in the UK was “totally insane” and the Conservative Party committee said it was “out of control of crime, violence and child exploitation”. It promotes the idea of ​​increasing the ”

“The idea of ​​doing more of what the past 50 years have obviously failed to do dramatically is ridiculous,” Reynolds said. “The only people who want this are ignorant politicians and people selling illegal drugs.

After police and crime commissions revealed their proposal to classify cannabis as a Class A drug, an Interior Ministry spokesperson said the potential dangers associated with cannabis did not justify reclassifying the drug. Stated.

“There are currently no plans to reclassify cannabis, which is regulated in the UK as a Class B drug, based on the clear medical and scientific evidence of cannabis’ harmful effects,” the spokesperson said.

However, media reports say Braverman is reviewing the evidence before making a final decision.

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