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
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  • User AvatarIan Sanderson (RM3) 24th Jan - 8:17am
    'Be interesting to know where he ends up.' Also interesting to know where the money ended up. The usual pattern is that money spent by...
  • User AvatarCatherine Jane Crosland 24th Jan - 5:41am
    Lorenzo, Thank you. And you are absolutely right to say that the party does need to consult more with members and supporters to develope a...
  • User AvatarCatherine Jane Crosland 24th Jan - 5:27am
    Katharine Pindar, I certainly wasn't suggesting that our by-election candidates should just focus on local issues. A by-election should always be about national issues as...
  • User AvatarJohn 24th Jan - 3:28am
    Agree with Matt, even if Libdem wants to keep the Remain strategy, they also have to create a new set of policies that could be...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 24th Jan - 1:16am
    This is interesting ! It is time for some polling and direct democracy in our party ! Online referendums and votes to take the views...
  • User Avatarmatt 24th Jan - 1:03am
    I would have so much love and respect for the Libdems if we could hear them say something along the lines..... Ok, the referendum result...