Scottish addiction rehabilitation groups have welcomed the
reclassification of cannabis calling the downgrading of the drug to
Class C as “pragmatic”.
The Scottish Drugs Forum (SDF), the umbrella group representing
drugs rehabilitation organisations through the country, has been
campaigning for the downgrading of cannabis since 1991.
SDF director Dave Liddell said: “It is crucial that we respond
to drugs issues on the basis of pragmatism and evidence of what can
make a difference. We need to make a clear distinction between
cannabis and the drugs which cause the greatest harm to individuals
and communities in Scotland, particularly heroin.”
SDF believes that an approach which treats all drugs as equally
harmful results in a greater number of young people moving on to
hard drugs such as heroin and crack cocaine.
Dr Richard Simpson, deputy minister for social justice, said:
“It is right that we should focus our efforts and resources on
tackling the drugs which cause the most harm to individuals and
communities. It is also right that the criminal penalties for drug
offences reflect the harm they cause.”