Orders of the Day — Drugs (Sentencing and Commission of Inquiry) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:51 am on 25th February 2005.

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Photo of Mr Paul Marsden Mr Paul Marsden Shadow Minister, Transport 10:51 am, 25th February 2005

I accept that that may be true in certain cases, but overall our judiciary does an excellent job. I listened to the recent debate about the Home Secretary's proposal that politicians take decisions on matters such as house arrest. I have to say that I am very nervous about the prospect of politicians getting involved in such decisions because that is the thin end of the wedge. I accept what the hon. Gentleman says, however, and we may well need to review the system, but the principle of allowing the judiciary the independence to decide on individual cases on the basis of the evidence before them should be retained.

I do, however, wholeheartedly endorse the hon. Gentleman's comments about a commission; indeed, it is Liberal Democrat policy to establish a commission to examine all drugs. I echo what the right hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst said about the need to widen the remit of such a commission to include all forms of drugs. It should not simply review cannabis as a one-off but conduct an ongoing review of all the evidence.