Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, yesterday criticised the
Government?s new drugs strategy. Following the Home Secretary?s
announcement that cannabis is to be a re-classified as a Class C drug, Mr.
Lilley argued that the Government?s compromise would not further the fight
against hard drugs and drug-related crime.
Peter Lilley said after the statement in the House of Commons:
“I fear that the Home Secretary?s proposals may land us with the worst of
all possible worlds. By effectively removing penalties on use or possession
of cannabis whilst reinforcing penalties on those who supply the drug, Mr.
Blunkett?s new approach amounts to nothing more than an awkward halfway
house. Either we follow the route of countries like Sweden, which has
sought to prohibit the misuse of all drugs through punitive prohibition, or
– as I would recommend – we move closer to the Dutch system, where cannabis
supply is separated from hard drugs by allowing its sale through a few
“I believe the Government?s strategy will ultimately backfire. It will do
nothing to reduce demand for cannabis. More worrying, it will continue to
drive soft drug users into the arms of hard drug pushers. I fear that until
we are prepared to rethink completely our attitude to the use of soft drugs,
the link between the supply of cannabis and that of hard drugs, such as
heroin and cocaine, will not be broken.