BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: UK: Scotland
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Wednesday, 24 October, 2001, 11:31 GMT 12:31 UK
Mother's fury at cannabis plan
Cannabis tests
Opinion in Scotland is divided over the proposed move
The founder member of a Scottish ant-drugs group has reacted angrily to the announcement that the UK Government is to slacken laws on cannabis.

Home Secretary David Blunkett has outlined his wishes to reclassify cannabis from a class 'B' to a class 'C' drug.

The move was welcomed by those involved in a long-runnning campaign for an easing in the legislation on cannabis.

However, Gaille McCann, of Mothers Against Drugs, said the move "smacked of hypocrisy" and urged the government to reconsider.

Cannabis smoker
The government has been accused of hyopcrisy

Mr Blunkett said the aim was to free police to concentrate on harder drugs and improve current legislation.

But speaking on BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme, Mrs McCann said the government would be foolish to carry through Mr Blunkett's proposals.

"I think this smacks of total hypocrisy from the government," she said.

"Not so long ago they said they were going to carry the fight against drugs and drug dealers, so this just seems like total hypocrisy.

If you re-classify cannabis then it will become socially acceptable like alcohol and more people will use it

Gaille McCann, Mothers Against Drugs

"We have seen what cannabis can do to people and we have to defend young working class people who are using the drug.

"The problem is that people very rarely use just one drug - it is usually a mixture or a cocktail of drugs.

"If you reclassify cannabis then it will become socially acceptable like alcohol and more people will use it.

"And if you look at the consequences of alcohol use then it could be argued that if we had known about this years ago we would not have legalised it. That was a mistake that was made.

'Gateway drug'

"I think that we should be very, very careful that we don't make a similar mistake again."

A debate earlier this year divided political opinion in Scotland.

In July, Scottish National Party MSP Margo MacDonald resurrected a debate on the matter north of the border.

At the time Ms MacDonald said: "This is an unsatisfactory situation which places police officers in an invidious position, damages police and public relations, makes a mockery of our law making political procedures and undermines respect for our legal system.

"The Scottish Parliament's procedures allow it to move quicker than Westminster to tackle this democratic deficit and legal hypocrisy."

Scottish Tory MSP David Davidson said cannabis was a "gateway drug", adding that he had first hand experience of the problems it posed to users.

The Scottish Executive has yet to announce its response to Mr Blunkett's proposals.

Gaille McCann, Mothers Against Drugs
"I think this smacks of hypocrisy by the government"
See also:

24 Oct 01 | UK Politics
Cannabis laws to be relaxed
23 Oct 01 | UK Politics
Q & A: Cannabis reclassification
06 Jul 01 | Scotland
MacDonald resurrects dope debate
23 Oct 01 | UK Politics
New role for Hellawell
23 Oct 01 | Health
How drugs are classified
08 Oct 00 | UK Politics
Tory admission sparks dope debate
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Scotland stories