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This advertisement appeared in the National Review,the The New Republic,the Weekly Standard,The Nation,Reason Magazine and The Progressive.

U.S. Findings of
the British
Police Foundation Concerning
Reform of Marijuana Laws

  “Our conclusion is that the present law on cannabis produces more harm  
  than it prevents. It is very expensive of the time and resources of the criminal  
  justice system and especially of the police. It inevitably bears more heavily on  
  young people in the streets of inner cities, who are also more likely to be from  
  minority ethnic communities, and as such is inimical to police-community  
  relations. It criminalizes large numbers of otherwise law-abiding, mainly young,  
  people to the detriment of their futures. It has become a proxy for the control  
  of public order; and it inhibits accurate education about the relative risks of  
  different drugs including the risks of cannabis itself. Weighing these costs  
  against the harms of cannabis, we are convinced that a better balance is  
  needed and would be achieved if our recommendations were implemented.  

  Under our proposals, the normal sanctions for offenses of cannabis possession  
  and cultivation for personal use would be out-of-court disposals, including  
  informal warnings, statutory cautions or a fixed fine on the model of the Scottish  
  fiscal fine. Prosecution would be the exception, and only then would a conviction  
  result in a criminal record. We understand that if the sanctions for cannabis  
  possession and cultivation, both in the law and its enforcement, were to be  
  substantially reduced there would be a risk that more people would use it. But  
  the international evidence does not suggest that this is inevitable or even likely.  
  Given the current widespread availability and use of cannabis, we judge that  
  more would be gained in terms of credibility, respect for the law and the police,  
  and accurate education messages than would be lost in potential damage to  
  public and individual health by the control regime which we recommend. We  
  also believe that our proposed regime would promote the targeting of  
  enforcement resources on those drugs and activities which cause the greatest  
  harm in line with the objectives of the national strategy. It would also accord  
  with public perceptions of where policing priorities should lie.”  

Can We Learn From Others?
For more information visit: www.csdp.org.
Common Sense for Drug Policy Kevin B. Zeese President
703-354-9050, 703-354-5695 (fax), info@csdp.org
"Drugs and the Law: Report of the Independent Inquiry into the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971." The Police Foundation, Chairman: Viscountess Runciman DBE, April 4, 2000. The Police Foundation, based in London England, is a non-profit organization that promotes research, debate and publication to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of policing in the UK.

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