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GOVERNMENT WELCOMES 'THOROUGH AND THOUGHT-PROVOKING' REPORT ON DRUGS

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In his initial response to the publication of the home affairs select ...
In his initial response to the publication of the home affairs select

committee report into the National Drug Strategy the home secretary,

David Blunkett, said:

'Last October I called for a sensible and adult debate on the subject

of tackling drug misuse. I am pleased to see that the committee has

taken on board my plea and responded with a very thorough and

thought-provoking report on a very complex subject.

'I welcome the call by the committee for renewed effort on harm

minimisation and education, and a focus on Class A drugs and

problematic drug users. These are the key areas which I highlighted

in my evidence to the committee in October.

'It is important that we get the message across to young people that

whilst all drugs cause harm not all drugs are the same. Some are more

dangerous than others. We have to focus our attention on the most

harmful drugs.

'I cannot offer the same welcome for the proposal from the committee

to reclassify ecstasy from Class A to Class B. Ecstasy can, and does,

kill unpredictably and there is no such thing as a safe dose. I

believe it should remain Class A. Reclassification of ecstasy is not

on the government's agenda.

'I have already made it clear that I want to see an appropriate

extension of prescribing heroin. However, there are no plans for

injecting rooms.

'I will be making a detailed response to the report after thorough

consideration before the summer recess when I will be publishing our

updated policy programme on the whole area of tackling trafficking,

dealing, harm minimisation, addiction and reclassification of

cannabis.

'I promised in October that we would follow through on the outline I

gave to the committee on 23 October, and that we would consider

seriously this report, the findings of the Advisory Council on the

Misuse of Drugs and other important contributions, including those

from the Police Foundation and Chief Constables.

'I will therefore be giving serious consideration over the weeks

ahead to incorporating those recommendations from these reports which

are acceptable to the government in our overall comprehensive

response.'

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