Tag Archives: khat

Opinion: Lib Dems only party to vote against khat drug ban

Julian Huppert, Lib Dem PPC for Cambridge“To ban, or not to ban, khat is the question”, tweeted Julian Huppert on Monday morning. Unfortunately, Labour MPs later in the day joined their Tory (and DUP) counterparts in a statutory instrument committee to vote in favour of a ban. The two Lib Dem MPs, Huppert and Greg Mulholland, were defeated 16-2 and the khat trade now looks set to be criminalised.

On The Guardian website, Julian writes:

a mild stimulant – roughly on a par with a strong cup of coffee. It is not considered particularly addictive, and there’s no clear evidence that it causes either physical or social harms. It is imported perfectly legally, and taxes are paid on it, to the tune of £12.8m each year.

When the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, the government’s expert advisors, were asked to consider khat, they said that it would be “inappropriate and disproportionate” to ban it. The cross-party home affairs select committee, on which I serve, produced a unanimous report opposing a ban. And yet the home secretary plans to do it anyway.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 35 Comments

Opinion: Where is the Liberal Democrat influence over drugs policy?

qatYesterday we learnt that the Home Secretary has decided to ban the drug ‘khat’, against the recommendation of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD). The Lib Dems were reportedly against this move, and the decision lay with Theresa May. This and other decisions suggest that drugs minister Jeremy Browne has been given a script but no power.

The disappointing decision to make khat a Class C drug follows the view of the ACMD in January that it should remain legal (having said the same thing …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 13 Comments

Opinion: we must force the Tories to follow the evidence on khat

I feel sorry for the Academic Council on the Misuse of Drugs. It’s this panel of drug experts’ task to try and inject some sense into our country’s failing drug policy. Sadly, in the latter years of New Labour’s reign, it became the default option to ignore their advice on drug classification. On magic mushrooms, then on cannabis and then again on ecstasy, Labour couldn’t resist ignoring the ACMD, opting instead for populist posturing in an attempt to appear ‘tough’.

The Labour government’s unscientific urges on drug classification were deeply frustrating to Liberal Democrats, and this led us to a 2010 …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 30 Comments



Recent Comments

  • User Avatarjedibeeftrix 30th Sep - 10:46pm
    on that subject: http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/10/09/article-2215070-156C345A000005DC-652_634x228.jpg "This is sure to leave many middle-earners scratching their heads, wondering how on earth the hundreds of pounds taken from them...
  • User AvatarConor McGovern 30th Sep - 10:45pm
    Well done Julian. not that Theresa May will take any notice. She's in thrall to the same interests as the rest of the British political...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 30th Sep - 10:42pm
    George Potter, some people seem relaxed about eroding many pensioners incomes away with inflation. I used to be a retirement planner, so I know what...
  • User AvatarRebecca Hanson 30th Sep - 10:38pm
    @ David, If you thing I shouldn't be asking teachers, could you give me an assessment of the impact of current education reforms instead then...
  • User AvatarRebecca Hanson 30th Sep - 10:37pm
    @Roland. In 'The Educators' on Radio 4 Jo Boaler talked about the communication networks which exist between education research in the hands of academics of...
  • User AvatarGeorge Potter 30th Sep - 10:26pm
    @Eddie Sammon I really must applaud the kind of economic illiteracy that makes you think that arguing against targeting inflation in monetary policy is the...