Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Policy challenges ahead for Cameron's Tories

The Times - January 11th 2006

Sir

The Home Secretary is planning to upgrade the criminal classification on the basis of fresh evidence on the link to psychosis (report, Jan 5; letters, Jan 9).

We hope that the Conservative Party takes this opportunity to have a rational discussion of the laws on the recreational use of soft drugs.

Is there any new evidence that this change will deter the small number of individuals with the genetic predisposition to schizophrenia from smoking cannabis?

Is there any new evidence that cannabis use, besides inducing psychosis, causes violent criminal behaviour in these at-risk individuals? How does this contrast with alcohol, which undoubtedly results in aggression, depression and brain damage in chronic users?

The objective should be to remove criminal pushers who may deal in all classes of drugs, consequently reducing the scope for cannabis users to become addicted to dangerous class-A drugs such as heroin.

DR CHARLES TANNOCK MEP
DR SYED KAMALL MEP
Brussels