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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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarCaron Lindsay 22nd May - 4:50pm
    @Andy CN Perhaps you should have checked your facts before you said that. Here is what I wrote at the time about the memo: http://www.libdemvoice.org/nicola-sturgeon-faces-similar-press-trashing-to-clegg-in-2010-but-with-added-misogyny-45322.html...
  • User AvatarAngela Davies 22nd May - 4:49pm
    I would like a leader who can inspire. Gravitas is great in some areas and much as we need it right now we are in...
  • User AvatarPaul Walter 22nd May - 4:46pm
    g You posted two comments on April 6th which we did not publish on this subject. They both said: "Alistair Carmichael has taken responsibility for...
  • User AvatarDave Page 22nd May - 4:46pm
    LDV polls are filled in by people who are registered on the LDV forums. This leans towards younger, more technologically literate members. Since Tim has...
  • User Avataralex marsh 22nd May - 4:40pm
    Disgraceful. No wonder he didn't make a run for the leadership.
  • User AvatarAndy Connelly-Nimmo 22nd May - 4:38pm
    Astonishing to see Lib Dem members here trying to deflect from this, saying 'Oh, but you had no evidence at the time...'. I'm sure none...
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