Drugs: Misuse

Home Department written question – answered on 25th October 2007.

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Photo of Paul Flynn Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research her Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the effect of reclassifying drugs on their production, supply and use.

Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Crime Reduction)

The Home Department undertakes and evaluates several surveys in order to monitor levels of illegal drug production, supply and use. These are not predicated on the ABC classification system but where they are drug specific, any changes are closely monitored following a drug's reclassification. Relevant published research is also routinely considered.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No14 people think not

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Shan Morgain
Posted on 26 Oct 2007 12:58 pm (Report this annotation)

An evasive answer.
The question was 'what research her Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated.'

In reply we are told that the Department undertakes and evaluates 'several surveys.' No specific names of or links to surveys are given, and the comment is a general statement on normal practice, which does not state whether any surveys have actually been done on this issue. So all we are given is a vague statement that work is being done; but for some reason we are not to be told what it is.

We are then told 'where they are drug specific, any changes are closely monitored following a drug's reclassification.' Again this is just a vague statement that monitoring is done, as a general rule. Nothing is said on whether monitoring is actually taking place, who is doing it, how, and when the results are due.

The lack of information given here is a matter of grave concern in response to an MP's enquiry. Transparency is nonexistent here; Vernon Croaker is wasting Parliamentary time and resources on empty words.
Both MP and the public that he and Croaker serve, are being treated with paternalistic condescension, as if we are children not yet mature enough to be allowed a clear answer to an adult question.

Can we please have an informative answer to the question giving specifics on what research is being undertaken into the effects of changing drugs' classification? An honest answer would give the names of those in charge of the research, their sampling methods, and the date results will be available.

Matt Joyce
Posted on 15 Nov 2007 7:01 pm (Report this annotation)

I fail to see how the answer to this question in any way serves to answer the question, a proper response to a question asking what research has been commissioned or evaluated on any topic would cite that research or survey specifically by name and date, and provide a link for further information.

The answer here contains no such information, are we therefore to conclude that what the Minister is saying is that no research on the subject has been commissioned or evaluated and thus why none was cited in the reply. If that is the case then it is gravely worrying and one has to ask why this research has not been done missing opportunities like this to evaluate policy is unacceptable given the large sums of public money spent on those policies and the crucial effect they have on the lives of millions our citizens.

So, could we please have an answer to the question posed here.