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 AvatarJohn King 23rd Nov - 12:58am
    I meant, I'm NOT even a politician. (thank God)
  • User AvatarJohn King 23rd Nov - 12:53am
    Public opinion has hardly moved at all since the referendum and this is not surprising – large numbers of Britons read the Daily Mail and...
  • User AvatarLittle Jackie Paper 22nd Nov - 9:27pm
    Peter Martin - 'Older people, if they aren’t economically active, will always be dependent on younger people, even if they’ve saved their own money.' There...
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    Andrew McCaig 'As a point of fact, Norway is in the Single Market, but not the Customs Union..' And as a point of precision, if...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 22nd Nov - 9:12pm
    Dear oh dear, here are the Brexiteers in full flight again with their gossamer fantasies. There is an unfortunate tendency too to abuse, which denotes...
  • User AvatarOnceALibDem 22nd Nov - 8:46pm
    I don't know what the conference decided but it might be something to revisit in the light of Uber's staggering non-compliance with Data Protection rules