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Cannabis must not be decriminalized unless safe

21 January 2004

Hon Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

Cannabis must never be decriminalized until proven safe

News today that a Welsh coroner recorded the cause of death as cannabis poisoning in the tragic case of a 36-year-old man, serves as a reminder that dope should never be decriminalized until or unless independent scientific evidence emerges that the drug is safe for consumption.

"It was reported today that Lee Maisey of Summerhill in Pembrokeshire, who had smoked six cannabis cigarettes a day for 11 years and was free from disease and not drunk alcohol for at least 48 hours, had died because of the drug use.

"Young people deserve to be protected from dangerous drugs, not given a dishonest and uncaring nod and wink from adults that it is somehow alright," Matt Robson said.

The Progressive Party opposes decriminalizing cannabis until or unless it is proven safe for human consumption. The Progressives will not agree to the coalition government changing the legal status of cannabis.

The coroner’s finding on Lee Maisey comes after new research published last week by Professor Robin Murray, a psychiatrist at the Maudsley Hospital in London, showing that cannabis increases the risk of serious mental illness and exacerbates existing psychotic conditions.

Top British policeman Sir John Stephens, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, says that the reclassification of cannabis from Class B to Class C, to occur on January 29, has caused "a massive amount of muddle" in the UK. He says police needed to give a clear message that "The use and possession of cannabis is still against the law."


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