Minister urged to back cannabis

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The Independent Online
A Group campaigning for the decriminalisation of cannabis has called on the Cabinet minister whose son was arrested for supplying the drug to help make cannabis legal.

A spokesman for the Campaign to Legalise Cannabis said that the minister should "impress the need for decriminalisation" upon cabinet colleagues.

"Now he or she has had a taste of it I think he should use his position within government to persuade his colleagues of the absurdity of the law," said Don Barnard. "The devastation that this experience has caused to the family concerned will be absolute and completely disproportionate to the offence involved," said Mr Barnard.

"The stress of being arrested, going to a police station, wondering whether your house is to be searched and wondering whether your son is going to be put in the cells is awful.

"We're not talking about hard drugs in this case. The damage caused by the arrest will do more harm than actually smoking cannabis ever would," he said.

"This case shows prohibition just does not work. The law is making criminals of hundreds of thousands of people every weekend. A law that cannot be enforced is a bad law," said Mr Barnard.

Yesterday, a spokesman for the Cannabis Hemp Information Club said that the case illustrated the need for prohibition of cannabis to be abolished.

"The problem is that gangsters and some major criminals are involved in supplying a lot of cannabis. If you make the drug legal then it takes away their business," said Rob Free Cannabis.

Mr Cannabis, who says he changed his name by "people poll" in support of the legalisation of cannabis, said: "This case will affect so many people, his personal friends and family and it is way out of proportion to the alleged crime he has committed."

The Government refuses to review the cannabis laws. Home Secretary Jack Straw has said: "The more I examine the evidence, I am less and less convinced of the case for decriminalisation."

Latest cannabis signatories, page 8

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