25 October 2007


It's coming for your kids. . .

Gordon Brown's plans to tighten the law on cannabis by increasing the penalties for possession suffered a fresh blow yesterday as the latest official figures showed the decision to downgrade the drug had been followed by a significant fall in its use.

British Crime Survey statistics showed that the proportion of 16- to 24-year-olds using cannabis slumped from 28% a decade ago to 21% now, with its declining popularity accelerating after the decision to downgrade the drug to class C was announced in January 2004.


Since cannabis was downgraded the proportion of young people using it has fallen each year from 25.3% in 2003-4 to 20.9% now. Among those aged 16 to 59, the proportion over the same period has fallen from 10.8% to 8.2%.

Quite honestly, I'm a little surprised by this development. Not because I'm against the gradual decriminalization or I think people who smoke marijuana should be punished severely (I don't think marijuana should be criminalized, nor it's users be punished at all). Rather, because I didn't think it would change the average usage that much. I just kinda figured the potheads in Europe were a lot like the American stoner - its available, lets smoke it. Weed is not that hard to find and, honestly, everyone smokes it*. So I guess it might be one of those things that becomes passe as soon as "teh man" doesn't care about it anymore?

Well, I guess not. . .
. . .The commission also says there is no evidence a drug's classification deterred use, and suggested that instead of tinkering the whole classification system should be placed outside the direct control of politicians.
Either way, hopefully this opens up the debate a little more. That or we can keep wasting money on a violent war against plants and chemicals. . .

* or personally knows someone who does