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Daniel Vince-Archer

"I will accept the conclusions of that review."

More buck-passing from Cameron! How nice to know that a Cameron leadership will always be ready to shirk its responsibilities and adopt the Blairite method of government by review, focus group and quango.


I agree with the Davis position on this one. Anyone who argues cannabis isnt harmful is wrong.

Kate Castle

A bit harsh Daniel, sometimes reviews can be done by experts rather than a decision by a politician. They aren't always a bad thing. Otherwise though I agree with Tim, I just don't think Cameron's argument stands up at all. The classification system isn't widely known, and nor does it need to be if the drug is illegal and harmful that is all that you need. Classifying them by order is just a bureaucratic exercise.

Mark Fulford

Daniel's administration would rely entirely upon Daniel's wisdom. Let's hope your political career is limited to academia.


Cameron does have a worrying habit of passing tough decisions off to 'powerful new bodies' or 'broad policy reviews'. Remind me again why he's qualified to be the leader of the Conservative party?

Jonathan Sheppard

The drugs issue was a big one in the constituency I fought. The sitting MP suggested that 100% of 16 year olds had smoked cannabis. My view is that the drug is dangerous and we need a policy to reflect this. I would therefore be looking for the drug to be reclassified under a Conservative Government - and back the Davis stance on this.

Simon C

Agreed that Cameron has demonstrated no understanding or knowledge of the damage that cannabis can do. He seems a little stuck in the '60's perception of it being a weak & relatively harmless product. This inability to keep up to date undermines his modernism.

What hasn't yet been really explored though is his often-used formula, which he again employs here:

"I’ve said that the Conservative Party, as part of its broad policy review and policy development process, should review the cannabis laws. I will accept the conclusions of that review."

If this is his approach to policy-making, we need to understand what he means. My (possibly conflicting) observations are:

1) I welcome his commitment to involve the whole party in policy-making. This is a key to renewing the party. people will only join a political party today if they are interested in politics. They need to be able to express that interest in a meaningful way. Involvement in debating & formulating policy is a vital part of that.

2) But - what sort of mandate will DC have as a leader if he leaves deals with contentious policy issues in this way during the leadership contest? If he wins, he won't be able to claim a mandate for particular principles or ideas.

3) There are some issues on which a party leader needs to give his party a clear lead, not simply accept the outcome of a policy review. What are those issues for DC?

Ian Sider

I'm a likely Cameron voter (though less likely now), but this reply is very disappointing. He says that "the classification of different drugs should reflect the harm they do and therefore send out a credible message to young people." What is credible about a classification that puts full strength skunk in the same category as valium? How many other drugs have put so many young people through the living hell of schizophrenia?


Perhaps we need to have a drugs classification system that is transparent, and not one which seems to be subjective. If that is not possible, which would appear to be the case, then I agree with Kate, let's simply call them illegal and leave the courts to decide on the sentence.

Dealing with the present system, DD has a firmer position which sends out the sort of message that is needed.

Jack Stone

The fact that drugs abuse as rocketed over the last thirty years shows that present drugs policy as failed.
If we are to protect our children from drugs I think we must change those policys.We have to listen more to young people and hear what they think and give help not punishment to those hooked on drugs. We need to review what should and should not be allowed and we must have stronger laws aginst the pushers who get kids hooked on drugs.
Personally I think David Cameron by showing a willingness to change as showed strength on this issue and David Davis by saying nothing must change complete weakness. It is oh so easy to defend the stus quo.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"Daniel's administration would rely entirely upon Daniel's wisdom."

Oh, I'm sorry, silly me for expecting a leader to provide leadership! Never mind that this is what they're elected for! After all, Charles Kennedy 'chairing' style of leadership has been so devastatingly effective for the Liberal Democrats hasn't it?

"Let's hope your political career is limited to academia."

What a typically delightful comment.


Agree with Ian Sider re skunk. One of my cousins became addicted to the stuff and is suffering severe consequences as a result. He is still trying to come off it with the help of his immediate family, and little if any outside help at the moment.

On the other hand, friends of mine smoked grass for years with no problems (except for one time when they unexpectedly ended up with skunk - which put them off cannabis in general for life).

There are different forms of cannabis now and they have different effects. It has to be treated seriously because, let's face it, can you be 100% sure what you're buying?


If you think the voters want their little darlings to go to prison for toting on a joint at university, think again. Once again, you're giving vent to your own hysterical prejudices rather than thinking rationally. If you really think cannabis is as dangerous as crack or smack, you need to get out more.


My support is 100% for DD on this one.The only people who are going to familiarise themselves with drug classifications other than the police are the dealers.I'm not interested in our party doing anything that makes their life easier.
Belive me cannabis is dangerous.I've seen two lives ruined by heavy use.

Prof Timonthy Leary

Turn on. Tune in. Vote DC.

Jonathan Sheppard

Sorry Gareth but some of us do get out. The Police Fed objected to the downgrading of cannabis - and on this one I agree with them

I get out into Worksop - which was infamous for its drugs problem, Its a little town in North Notts in case you havent been. Downgrading cannabis - a decision taken by this Labour Government sends completely the wrong message.


Gareth, I never said that cannabis is as dangerous as crack or smack, but from family experience I know it is not harmless. Skunk is nasty stuff and has serious side effects. It should not be treated lightly.


The police long ago gave up chasing cannabis dealers, never mind those in possession. Likewise with E. One can hardly walk down a city centre street in this country without seeing or smelling cannabis being smoked openly. All this guff about 'strong messages' etc. is just, well, guff.

Ed R

Ambivalent on this one. The drug that causes the most havoc and misery in those around me is nicotine. When politicians start talking about which class that should go in, I'll take the drugs debate seriously.


Have you people never met an alcoholic?

Mike Smithson

What right does the state have to interfere with my biochemistry? I don't "do" drugs but if I wanted to smoke, drink excessively or consume so-called illegal substances then as long as I am not harming others the state should not have the right to intervene.

I find it amazing to read the alarmingly authoritarian stance of people on this thread.

It seems that you all want a state where that which is not compulsory is prohibited.

Martin Curtis

I agree with the analysis on this one. DCs drugs policy is wrong IMHO - but he has always said that he although this is his position it is not a priority.


That's an incredibly individualistic thing to write Mike.

We live in a society where we care for people who become ill because of their 'private behaviours' and where some bear the criminality that results from them, for example.

Where certain so-called 'lifestyle choices' have negative public consequences it is reasonable for society to discourage them in some way or other.

Authoritiarian? No. Paternalist? Perhaps. Compassionate and prudent? Absolutely.

Jonathan Sheppard

Gareth - Im intruiged.

If you are equating cannabis to alcohol ould you completely legalise it then?

Is this a step you would like the party to take? I am sure DC doesn't support that. I am sure he doesn't equate cannabis to alcohol does he?

Jonathan Sheppard

Editor I agree. There has been years of education about not drinking and driving. But what about someone driving when stoned - what happens when people get killed because of that?

I dont think we should have policies that can be seen to encourage the use of a dangerous drug.

Mike comment is interesting. As a Lib (am I right?) he doesnt believe the state has a right to intervene in his bio-chemistry. Yet his party is very active in Europe supporting policies about what foods we should and shouldnt eat.

But thats another debate....

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