Drugs Strategy

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:33 am on 9th November 2001.

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Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 9:33 am, 9th November 2001

I am a little confused by the hon. Gentleman. The three pilots are concerned with two class A drugs—cocaine and heroin—where there is a proven link between the use of those drugs and acquisitive crime. I am not certain how that connects with a decision to ask the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs—ACMD—to advise on the reclassification of cannabis. I accept that that decision has a far closer correlation with the trial on policing that is taking place in Brixton, but that is due to conclude at the end of the year. A full evaluation will be available in February. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary did not announce to the Home Affairs Committee the reclassification of cannabis; he announced that he would ask ACMD to consider its reclassification. All that, and the debate that we are holding, are going forward in tandem. There will not be a definitive decision on the reclassification of cannabis—if that happens—before Easter next year.