Majority disagree with cannabis reclassification


There is a substantial amount of anger over the government’s decision to reclassify cannabis, a new poll suggests.

The poll, which comes as government ministers from across the world meet in Vienna for the UN’s summit on drugs, shows a deep split in public opinion over how to proceed with narcotics legislation.

Asked if drugs should be legalised, just under 50 per cent of respondents answered ‘yes’, while 37 per cent said ‘no’.

But opinions on the reclassification of cannabis were far clearer.

Thirteen per cent of users agreed with the decision, compared with 87 per cent who said they ‘disagreed’ or ‘strongly disagreed’.

The government recently implemented the change to cannabis, bringing it back up to class B after former home secretary David Blunkett expended considerable political capital downgrading it to class C in 2003.

But the poll showed considerably less sympathy towards calls from the government’s own Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to downgrade ecstasy.

Over 50 per cent of users said they disagreed with the decision, while 37 per cent agreed.

Asked what they thought of current UK drugs policy, users appeared to take a liberal stance. Sixty-two per cent of users said current policy was too authoritarian. That compared with 25 per cent who said it was too lenient.

  • Although the classification of cannabis does not change the likelihood of somebody using cannabis either for pain or just to get high and feel better – after all it never stopped Home secretary Jacqui Smith years ago – or a host of other MP's businessmen and pop starts …

    it certainly ought to make a difference to everybody that this Government has ignored the evidence from its own experts and despite their report that cannabis is not as dangerous as other class B drugs – have raised it again to class B – which, incidentally, will increase the maximum sentences for possession without changing the sentences for cultivation of supply that remain at an incredible 14 years in prison EVEN when there are no victims and no apparent harm done.

  • The stoic decision taken by the UN civil servants in Vienna to carry on fighting the lost war on drugs for another ten years will enrage all those who have wanted to promote more communication and more harm reduction, because we will waste another 100 billion for more inefficiency and more harm in this futile war.

    Here In Britain scientific bodies are ignored and punitive measures are prefered by political expedient politicians, more worried about their personal morality count than the suffering they cause by their puny and pathetic actions.

  • Winston Matthews

    Could I be paranoid, or understanding media manipulation about cannabis yet again?

    What with millions of consumers under now more of a punitive threat for taking cannabis in the UK, one of our safest substances, arguably on a par with caffeine, according to Dr Henningfield.

    It seems that whilst, we the takers of this herb worry about cannabis use, that we might just ignore what the banker or politicians?

    This is a feeling I get with obviously illogical decisions, from the once taking cannabis consuming Home Sec, especially when nearly an eight of a million pounds lighter, for the ACMD expert advice, just to be ignored.

    This is about as good as the talk to Frank ads, that seem to benefit, only the advetising industry, and tarnishing the truth, with imaginary gimmickry , whilst ignoring alcohol abuse, or cigarettes as normal, which lets not even talk about classification on those substances?

    If logic were applied, as cannabis should be legal, at the moment this is being recognised, In the USA,that medicanial useage California, is seriously talking about the way towards making cannabis legal, as a recessional cure.

    Even though I make proportional arguments about the drugs caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol, cannabis, I may now point out, that I am not in the prohibitionist lobby for these recreational substances, as 13 years of Prohibition in the USA, didn't work.

    Cannabis is another taxable commodity, that should be regulated.

    Why we do ignore this, are the 19 subsidised bars in the commons, giving our politicians wet brain syndrome?

    Can we not see the logic of legalisation?

    World wide there are appox 167 million users.

    The Dutch have tolerated cannabis, for years, also the Netherlands has come top of a Unicef league table for child well-being across 21 industrialised countries in 2007, dare I suggest a correlation between these two facts?

    Didn't cannabis soothe Euro 2000 hooligans when Amsterdam's cannabis selling coffee shops win right to stay open during football tournament after negotiations with the city authority?

    Don't talk about reclassification talk about relegalisation, you know it makes more sense!

    Wake up and smell the coffee please!

  • BOB