Classmates of UK Home Secretary Straw's Son Hand Him Petition for Legalization of Cannabis 2/20/98

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Jack Straw, the British Home Secretary whose son was caught selling 10 pounds (sterling) worth of cannabis in a pub at a time when Straw was publicly and vociferously defending cannabis Prohibition, addressed his son's class at Pimlico School last week. While he might have expected his appearance to generate intense interest among the student body, he probably did not expect to be handed a petition, signed by nearly all of his son's classmates, urging the legalization of the substance.

The petition, titled "Stop turning young people into criminals" was signed by over 100 students. Notably absent was the signature of Straw's son, William. Classmates had not asked him to sign it, according to the Independent on Sunday newspaper, figuring that he had been through enough on the issue already. The petition stated: "We believe that medical evidence suggests cannabis is less harmful than alcohol or tobacco, which are legally available. Yet thousands of young people every year are turned into criminals by the pointless and unworkable ban on cannabis. Without in any way encouraging the use of cannabis, or indeed any drug, we call on the Home Secretary and the Government to bring the law into line with reality and legalize cannabis without delay." The students were members of the sixth form, which means they are approximately seventeen years-old.

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