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It’s Official: Gordon Brown and Jacqui Smith Have Lost Their Minds

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 7, 2008

    Lest anyone think that science or reason guide modern cannabis policy, I present to you today’s announcement from British Home Secretary (and former pot smoker) Jacqui Smith calling on Parliament to increase pot penalties from a verbal warning — the current policy — to up to five years in jail.

    Smith’s expected announcement (Watch the video here.) comes just days after British Prime Minister Gordon Brown — who has been afflicted with a severe case of ‘Reefer Madness’ since taking office last June — raved that consuming cannabis can be fatal, and that strict penalties on pot are necessary in order to “send a message” to young people that marijuana smoking is “unacceptable.”

    Ironically, the Home Secretary’s formal announcement contradicts the official recommendations of Britain’s Advisory Panel on the Misuse of Drugs, which released its own report today finding that pot lacks the potential health risks of most other illicit drugs, and that its use is unlikely to trigger mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia.

    It is the third time in six years that the Panel has demanded that legislators classify cannabis as a Class C ‘soft’ drug, with minor, if any, criminal penalties. Unlike Smith or Brown, the Advisory Panel consists of experts commissioned to evaluate and determine British drug policies — hence it’s hardly surprising that their findings would be totally disregarded by British bureaucrats.

    For those readers who have not closely followed Britain’s ongoing pot policy debate, here’s a brief history lesson:

    In January 2004, Parliament downgraded the legal classification of cannabis from a Class B drug (such as amphetamines or barbiturates) to a Class C drug (such as anabolic steroids) — thus allowing police to issue verbal warnings to minor pot offenders in lieu of arresting them. Since then, the following events have occurred:

    One-third fewer Britons have been arrested for pot offenses;

    Marijuana use by those age 16 to 20 years of age has fallen by 20 percent;

    Fewer than ten percent of Britons now report using cannabis — the lowest percentage ever recorded.

    In fact, the current policy has worked so well that the British Association of Chief Police Officers has announced that they will refuse to waste their time and resources arresting minor pot offenders — regardless of what Parliament decides.

    So let’s review shall we. Gordon Brown wants to jail pot users to keep them from dying at the hands of weed — a stance so absurd that even the cops won’t go along with it. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith wants to jail pot users to keep them from losing their minds even though she herself smoked pot and is now one of the most powerful women in British politics. (Whether she is of sound mind remains debatable, I suppose.) The British Advisory Panel on the Misuse of Drugs thinks that Brown and Smith’s calls for reclassification are based on tabloid headlines in the Daily Mail rather than actual science, so they are dismissed as ‘know-nothings’ by the very same people who, quite literally, know nothing.

    And that, my friends, is how we decide cannabis policy in 2008.

    Any questions?

    5 Responses to “It’s Official: Gordon Brown and Jacqui Smith Have Lost Their Minds”

    1. Mike says:

      This policy was announced purely to stop Labour losing votes. They know they’ve signed their death warrant, local council elections earlier this week showed a huge decrease in support for the Labour party. I find it so ridiculous that the Drug Advisory Council (set up by Gordon ‘Wanker’ Brown himself) can be ignored when finally scientific research dismisses the myths about marijuana. I’ve never been a fan of the British police, but their stance on this matter is truly admirable. Blair screwed up with agreeing to the war in Iraq, but at least he was headed in the right direction regarding cannabis. Keep up the good work NORML.

    2. john the kid says:

      to tell the truth here i am still young myself and if smoking cigarrett is acceptable than so should smoking maijuana the only diffrence is that one gets you high the other kills you so if being mellowed out s bad what are we supposed to de be pissed at society all the damn time please reply my email is earthmother_son@yahoo.com

    3. It’s all about criminal mercantilism.

    4. Ross says:

      i have used cannabis in the past and it is geat but it could have had health issues if i hadkept doing it regularly it is the same with smoking i have tried it and theeffects were worsethan the weed gordon brown should put tabaco up to a class b drug befor he starts on macking cannabis one this also wasts the police time thay should be focusing on harder drugs gordon brown is a disgrase to labor he should do as his sience advisors said he did the 10p tax and me and my 3 siters and mum may lose our house in august because of gordon browns money grabbing he is a bas***ed

    5. zohai says:

      Its pretty obvious by the typos above that your readers enjoy reading your blog while smoking LOL. Nothing says more for a sites credibility than for it to be one which members wish to participate in while indulging themselves.

      On a more related note its scary to read that Gordons looking to jail cannabis users to “keep them from dying at the hands of weed”. Wow talk about bass akwards knowledge of a subject eh. Very scary

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