"The Government's Drugs Policy: Is it working?"
(Home Affairs Committee Report, Grossbritannien)
Hier ist eine kurze Zusammenfassung zum Bericht des Innenausschusses zur britischen Drogenpolitik:
Grossbritannien beschliesst Cannabisreform [CLN#63, 24.05.2002]
Der vollständige Bericht wurde auf folgender Adresse veröffentlicht:
Sektion zu Cannabis:
Im Folgenden nun die Pressemitteilung zum Ausschussbericht:
HOME AFFAIRS COMMITTEE REPORT - EMBARGOED PRESS NOTICE
Home Affairs Committee
House of Commons
Press Release 2001-02
21 May 2002 No. 18
Not for release before 0001 on Wednesday 22 May
"The Government's Drugs Policy: Is it working?"
The Home Affairs Select Committee has called for a major shake-up of the
Government's drugs policy,
concentrating on education and harm reduction for users rather than criminal
In its long awaited report, supported by all but one member, the Committee has
cannabis be reclassified as a class C drug and ecstasy as class B. It also
recommends the creation of
a new offence of "supply for gain" in order that the distinction between
so-called social supply and
dealing is clearly reflected in the available penalties.
The Committee says the main focus should be on the 250,000 "problematic
addicts-whose habit causes most damage to themselves and others. It recommends
a trial programme
of carefully supervised heroin prescription to addicts along the lines of those
under way in The
Netherlands and Switzerland.
The Committee also recommends a pilot programme of safe-injecting rooms in
order to get chronic
heroin users off the street and into a more orderly environment. This would
require amendments to the
Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 allowing drugs agencies to work with users and to
allow pharmacists to
supply drug users with goods that reduce risk.
However, the Committee firmly rejected calls for legalisation and regulation.
It said: "We acknowledge
there are some attractive arguments. However, those who urge this step upon us
are...asking us to
gamble the undoubted potential gains against the inevitability of a significant
increase in the number
of users, especially among the very young". The Committee declined to recommend
on the same grounds.
Chairman, Chris Mullin MP said:
"All drug use is to a greater or lesser extent harmful and should be
discouraged. However, we have to
face the fact that, whether we like it or not, large numbers of young people
take drugs. As far as users
are concerned, our priorities should be realistic education, readily available
treatment and harm reduction. Above all, we need to focus on that relatively
small minority of drug users who are making
a misery of their own lives and those of others. The criminal law should be
reserved primarily for
dealers. Government policy is already moving in that direction and I hope this
report will encourage
ministers to go further".
David Cameron MP, Conservative member of the Committee said: "Drugs policy in
this country has been failing for decades. Drug abuse has increased massively,
the number of drug-related deaths has risen substantially and drug-related
crime accounts for up to half of all acquisitive crime. I hope that our report
will encourage fresh thinking and a new approach. We need to get away from
entrenched positions and try to reduce the harm that drugs do both to users and
society at large."
Liberal Democrat member of the Committee Bob Russell MP said: "The inquiry
confirmed that the overwhelming majority of the population does not take
illegal drugs, and never has done. Even among young people it was reassuring
that most of them do not take drugs. I recognise, however, that there is a
minority which uses harmful drugs for self-abuse of their bodies and minds.
Balanced laws and regulations need to take account of such use and misuse. The
overall cost to society, specifically to the National Health Service and the
consequences of criminal activity, caused by the current levels of drug abuse
has to be addressed. The only acceptable use of drugs is for medical purposes."
SUMMARY OF KEY CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
1. We believe that drugs policy should primarily be addressed to dealing with
the 250,000 problematic drug users (paragraph 38).
2. While acknowledging that there may come a day when the balance may tip in
favour of legalising and regulating some types of presently illegal drugs, we
decline to recommend this drastic step (paragraph 66).
3. We accept that to decriminalise possession of drugs for personal use would
send the wrong
message to the majority of young people...and that it would inevitably lead to
in drug abuse. We, therefore, reject decriminalisation (paragraph 74).
4. We are not persuaded that an intent to supply should be presumed on the
basis of amounts of drugs found; we therefore recommend that the offences of
simple possession and possession with intent to supply should be retained
without alteration (paragraph 77).
5. We recommend that a new offence is created of "supply for gain", which would
be used to prosecute large scale commercial suppliers (paragraph 83).
6. We support...the Home Secretary's proposal to reclassify cannabis from Class
B to Class C (paragraph 121).
7. We...recommend that ecstasy is reclassified as a Class B drug (paragraph
8. We recommend that the number of treatment places for cocaine users is
substantially increased. We recommend that resources are channelled into
researching and piloting innovative treatment interventions for cocaine users
9. We consider that the risks posed by cocaine to the user and to other people
merit it remaining a Class A drug (paragraph 141).
10. We recommend that more treatment places are created for crack users and
that resources be channelled into researching and piloting more effective
treatments. We further recommend that in the meantime efforts are redoubled to
extinguish supply of crack cocaine (paragraph 147).
11. We recommend that the Government substantially increases the funding for
heroin addicts and ensure that methadone treatments and complementary therapies
are universally available to those who need them (paragraph 160).
12. We recommend that appropriate treatment forms a mandatory part of custodial
and that offenders have access to consistent treatment approaches within the
as well as outside it. This should include strictly supervised methadone
treatment in the first instance (paragraph 169).
13. We recommend that a proper evaluation is conducted of diamorphine
prescribing for heroin addiction in the UK...as compared with methadone
prescribing regimes (paragraph 178).
14. We recommend that the guidance and training provided to practitioners
prescribing diamorphine to heroin addicts is strengthened (paragraph 179).
15. We recommend that an evaluated pilot programme of safe injecting houses for
heroin users is established without delay and that if...this is successful, the
programme is extended across the country (paragraph 186).
16. We conclude that the Dutch and Swiss evidence provides a strong basis on
which to conduct a pilot here in Britain of highly structured heroin
prescribing to addicts. We recommend that a pilot along the lines of the Swiss
or Dutch model is conducted in the UK. Should such a pilot generate the
positive results which one would expect...we recommend that such a system
should supersede the little-used "British
system" of licencing (paragraph 190).
17. We believe that all drugs education material should be based on the premise
that any drug use can be harmful, and should be discouraged (paragraph 201).
18. We conclude that General Practitioners are, for the most part, inadequately
trained to deal with drug misuse. We recommend that training in substance
misuse is embedded in the undergraduate medical curriculum and postgraduate
General Practice curriculum...We recommend that the Department of Health funds
more training courses
in substance misuse for existing General Practitioners (paragraph 218).
19. We recommend that a target is added to the National Strategy explicitly
aimed at harm reduction and public health (paragraph 245).
20. We recommend that the Government reviews Section 9A of the Misuse of Drugs
Act 1971, with a view to repealing it, to allow for the provision of drugs
paraphernalia which reduces the harm caused by drugs (paragraph 252).
21. We recommend that Section 8 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 is amended to
ensure that drugs agencies can conduct harm reduction work and provide safe
injecting areas for users without fear of being prosecuted (paragraph 257).
22. We recommend that the Home Office and the Department of Health urgently
review the current legal framework on the dispensation of controlled drugs by
community pharmacists (paragraph 260).
23. We recommend that Drug Abstinence Orders are amended to carry the
requirement of access to treatment (paragraph 264).
24. We recommend that the Government initiates a discussion within the
Commission on Narcotic Drugs of alternative ways-including the possibility of
legalisation and regulation-to tackle the global drugs dilemma (paragraph 267).
Note to Editors
Details of this inquiry were set out in press notice no. 1.
Home Affairs Committee membership and links to the text of Committee reports,
minutes of evidence and
press notices can be accessed through the Internet at Parliament's website
above. Also available on the
Committee's Internet site are past reports and uncorrected transcripts of
evidence given by Ministers.
Home Affairs Committee
The Home Affairs Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the
administration and policy of the Home Office and the Lord Chancellor's
Department, and their associated
public bodies; and the administration and expenditure of the Attorney General's
Office, the Treasury
Solicitor's Department, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Serious Fraud
Chairman: Mr Chris Mullin MP (Labour, Sunderland South)
Mr David Cameron MP (Conservative, Witney)
Mrs Janet Dean MP (Labour, Burton)
Mr Humfrey Malins MP (Conservative, Woking)
Bridget Prentice MP (Labour, Lewisham East)
Mr Gwyn Prosser MP (Labour, Dover)
Bob Russell MP (Liberal Democrat, Colchester)
Mr Marsha Singh MP (Labour, Bradford West)
Angela Watkinson MP (Conservative, Upminster)
Mr Tom Watson MP (Labour, West Bromwich East)
David Winnick MP (Labour, Walsall North)
Home Affairs Contact details: 7 Millbank, London, SWIP 3JA, e-mail:
Tel: 020 7219 3276 Fax: 020 7219 2744 Website:
Committee Office Information Line tel: 020 7219 2033