Home Affairs Committee - Drugs: Breaking the CycleWritten evidence submitted by The Prime Minister [DP200]

Letter from the Chair of the Committee to the Prime Minister, 11 September 2012

As you might be aware, the Home Affairs Committee is undertaking an inquiry into Drug Policy. This is the first inquiry since the Committee examined the subject in 2002 when you were on the Committee.

In the minutes of proceedings, you state your support to reclassify Cannabis as a Class C. Would you still support that re-classification today? And if not, why not?

You also supported a recommendation that the Government initiate a discussion within the Commission on Narcotic Drugs of alternative ways—including the possibility of legalisation and regulation—to tackle the global drugs dilemma. Would you still support that recommendation today? And if not, why not?

Please could you send me your response by 21 September.

Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP
Chair of the Home Affairs Committee

September 2012

Letter from the Prime Minister to the Chair of the Committee, 21 September 2012

Thank you for your letter of 11 September referring to the recommendations made following the 2002 inquiry on drug policy conducted by the then Home Affairs Select Committee.

As you will know from your Chairmanship of the Committee, drug policy is a particularly challenging part of public and social policy. The 2002 Home Affairs Select Committee report recognised these complexities in not recommending either legalisation or regulation of drugs.

The Home Secretary set out the Government’s stance on drugs in the 2010 Drug Strategy, with a particular focus on recovery. We are yet to be convinced that an alternative approach in the United Kingdom would have a greater impact on reducing the use and harms of drugs. There are encouraging signs that our strategic approach continues to have a positive effect on the levels of drug use. It is for this reason that the Government has no plans to change the current position on cannabis as the Home Secretary related in her evidence session to you on 6 September.

Of course, the Government acknowledges the value of keeping the debate open and I am grateful to the Committee for its work in this complex area. We attach great importance to keeping abreast of the evidence both here and abroad to inform our drugs policies. I look forward to considering the findings and recommendations of your inquiry with the Home Secretary in due course.

Rt Hon David Cameron MP
Prime Minister

September 2012

Prepared 8th December 2012