Sunday, June 19, 2005

To B, Or Not To B, Or Maybe To C

I read an article in the Independent today that suggested that our current Home Secretary is likely to reclassify cannabis as a class B drug after it was recently reclassified as a class C drug. This is potentially another great cock up by the Home Office. The suggestion is that if cannabis use has increased since it was reclassified then it should revert back to it's old status to stem to increase in use.

Do the Home Office not realise that their continual meddling in our legal system costs a lot of money every time they try to adjust the law? The law has already taken in to account that sentencing for possession of cannabis should be reduced from the previous sentencing guidelines to take account of the change in maximum sentence that you can get for possession of a class B drug and possession of a class C drug - here is one example R v Herridge. No doubt the costs in getting a case all the way to the Court of Appeal is not cheap, and it was probably paid for out of the legal aid budget. Mr. Clarke, and any other Government Minister who may be reading this, stop playing around with the system to create more work, and stop blaming solicitors for increased costs to the legal aid budget! This is a clear example of the Government seeing that an error has been made with their reclassification policy, and that it is now time to decide if they can afford to make a U turn.

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