In December 2007 the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) invited UKDPC to submit written evidence for a cannabis classification review, and this paper is our response.
Our overall conclusion is that we find no compelling new evidence which would require the ACMD to alter its recommendation in 2006 to keep cannabis classified as Class C. Cannabis can undoubtedly cause harms and we appreciate the concerns expressed by politicians and members of the public. However, the current C classification remains an appropriate and proportionate response and there appears to be little to gain from reclassification. Evidence does not support the view that it would further help to “protect society and individuals from the harmful effect of illicit drugs”, which would be the main objective as outlined in the Home Secretary’s July 2007 letter. Reclassification is unlikely to ‘send a message’ to potential or current cannabis users or affect usage rates.
We have great respect for the quality of the ACMD’s work in this area and we do not wish to duplicate their efforts in this paper. However we have outlined below the main points for consideration which have led us to our position.