Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Home Affairs Committee launches new inquiry into Drugs

Call for written evidence
The Committee will undertake a comprehensive review of drugs policy in the new year. The Committee will examine the effectiveness of the Government’s 2010 drugs strategy and the UK Government’s contribution to global efforts to reduce the supply and demand of illicit drugs. Specifically, the Committee will consider:
  • The extent to which the Government’s 2010 drug strategy is a ‘fiscally responsible policy with strategies grounded in science, health, security and human rights’ in line with the recent recommendation by the Global Commission on Drug Policy
  • The criteria used by the Government to measure the efficacy of its drug policies
  • The independence and quality of expert advice which is being given to the government
  • Whether drug-related policing and expenditure is likely to decrease in line with police budgets and what impact this may have
  • The cost effectiveness of different policies to reduce drug usage
  • The extent to which public health considerations should play a leading role in developing drugs policy
  • The relationship between drug and alcohol abuse
  • The comparative harm and cost of legal and illegal drugs
  • The impact of the transfer of functions of the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse to Public Health England and how this will affect the provision of treatment
  • The availability of ‘legal highs’ and the challenges associated with adapting the legal framework to deal with new substances
  • The links between drugs, organised crime and terrorism
  • Whether the UK is supporting its global partners effectively and what changes may occur with the introduction of the national crime agency
  • Whether detailed consideration ought to be given to alternative ways of tackling the drugs dilemma, as recommended by the Select Committee in 2002 (The Government's Drugs Policy: Is It Working?, HC 318, 2001–02) and the Justice Committee’s 2010 Report on justice reinvestment (Cutting crime: the case for justice reinvestment, HC 94, 2009–10).”
Organisations and individuals interested in making written submissions are invited to do so by Tuesday 10 January 2012. Submissions should be no longer than 2,500 words. Further advice on making a submission can be found below.
Oral evidence sessions will be held in early 2012: further announcements will be made in due course.
Written evidence should if possible be in Word or rich text format—not PDF format—and sent by e-mail. The use of colour and expensive-to-print material, e.g. photographs, should be avoided. The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.
Submissions must address the terms of reference. They should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include an executive summary. Further guidance on the submission of evidence.
Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere, though previously published work can be referred to in a submission and submitted as supplementary material. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee.
Please bear in mind that the Committee is not able to investigate individual cases.
The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.
For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter or e-mail. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
The remit of the Home Affairs Committee is to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Home Office and its associated public bodies.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Bristol drug user grew cannabis to avoid dealers' attacks: Bristol Post, Nov 12 2011

“I have to ask what harm this guy did to anyone or their property, apart from creating a smell?

How much did it cost to take this man to court and at the end of the day, what will he do now - probably buy dubious quality cannabis at inflated prices from drug dealers.

And the taxpayer of course, pays the price.

Human Rights law guarantees every person in the UK the Right to a Private Life. In other words, we can do what we want in our Private dwellings, provided, as stated in the Act, that we do not pose a threat to public health, public order, national security or the Rights of others. I don't see how this man did that.

It is his Rights that have been offended - by police - and it is us that have to pay. Meanwhile, serious crime continues throughout Britain and the rest of the land.”

 Bristol drug user grew cannabis to avoid dealers' attacks: Bristol Post, Nov 12 2011
A POLISH cannabis user who claimed he grew his own drugs to avoid being assaulted by dealers in St Paul's has avoided jail.
Adam Wawrzymak, 27, who also said he had not realised it was illegal to grow drugs for personal use, was found with 35 plants in his Lawrence Hill flat.
 One set of 17 plants was said to have a street value of more than £2,700 a judge at Bristol Crown Court heard yesterday.
Robert Reid, prosecuting, said police made the discovery on August 17 after investigating an open door which led to four flats.
He said: "They noticed a distinct cannabis smell emanating from the top-floor flat."
Wawrzymak opened the door and police found two sets of plants, one set which had been harvested and were drying out and a second set of 18 plants growing in the bedroom.
On arrest Wawrzymak, who works for a wine company, said he had a habit which involved him spending £200 a week on drugs but that after being attacked on a number of occasions in St Paul's and Easton he decided to grow his own crop.
Mr Reid added: "He said he never sold it but it was useful because it helped him to sleep and to control his appetite. He said it was legal in Czechoslovakia, where he has some connection, and he didn't realise it was illegal in the UK."
Rodney Wilson, defending, said Wawrzymak had been smoking cannabis for 15 years. He said that his rent of £200 a month and his earnings of up to £325 a week led to him having "a considerable amount of money to waste on cannabis".
He said previous acts of violence from drug dealers in St Paul's and Easton, coupled with the cost of his habit, had caused him to try growing his own drugs.
He said: "It was the first time he had grown the drugs and he had no idea how much he would yield.
"There was no evidence of any drug trafficking paraphernalia.
"He has no intention of cultivating cannabis again. He is not someone who goes out looking to commit offences but he has a drug problem."
Judge Michael Harington said Wawrzymak, who has been in the UK for six years, was before the court with two offences – the possession and production of cannabis.
He said: "I hope this experience has brought home to you the misconception that this is not a serious offence.
"My view is that the offence is so serious that neither fine nor a community order alone will suffice.
"I am sentencing you to 16 weeks' prison, suspended for 12 months."
He also added that he must undertake 100 hours of unpaid community work and pay costs of £250.