Shut loophole - Drug ruling

THE decision by the Court of Appeal yesterday that made the possession of ecstasy, magic mushrooms, and some of the so-called head shop drugs and other new psychoactive drugs, legal for 24 hours inevitably provoked an immediate legislative response from the Government.

The battle between society and those who supply or use drugs is a permanent feature of today’s world. Sometimes it provokes terrible violence and in extreme cases — Mexico, for instance — whole societies are threatened.

It may seem rational to argue, especially in a society where where one particular drug — alcohol — causes so much harm that some soft drugs should be controlled in a more tolerant way. However, a growing body of research that links regular cannabis use and schizophrenia would suggest that regulation remains justified. This ruling seems to have been provoked by a technicality in the legislation but it reminds us that court rulings are at least as influential as our legislators in our lawmaking process, a situation that can hardly be described as democracy in effective action.

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