I am pleased that the House of Lords voted by a majority of 52 against an amendment which would have overturned the Government’s proposal. The change will reverse the then Home Secretary David Blunkett’s 2004 downgrading and raise a maximum jail sentence for possession to five years.
I believe that Cannabis is not a ‘soft’ drug. The stronger varieties such as skunk have proven mental health risks. As a former Judge, I witnessed the devastating impact that drugs had on young people. What starts out as ‘a bit of fun’ often ends in serious addiction to Class A drugs.
The Labour Government’s policy towards Cannabis has been unclear. Having lowered the category, they are now raising it again. Their message on drugs has been dangerously ambiguous. Recently, one of my researchers attended a debate where Communities Secretary Hazel Blears seemed more than a little confused over which category Cannabis belonged in!
I am pleased that the Government has now seen sense and are, as Jacqui Smith said, “serious about tackling the danger that the drug poses”. Better late than never.