Newsbrief: Former Scottish High Court Judge Says Legalize It Newsbrief: British Doctors Don't Say Legalize It 7/11/03

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Lord William David Prosser, who retired as a Scottish High Court Judge last October, called Saturday for the legalization of cannabis, saying it should be supplied like alcohol and tobacco. The current laws against cannabis possession are "unenforceable," he said in an interview with the Scotsman on Sunday.

"I have long believed that the law [on cannabis] in its present form should be changed," said Lord Prosser. "It should be legal to possess the drug, and there should be a system of controlled supply similar to that which exists for tobacco and alcohol. You obviously cannot have a free-for-all for supply -- that has to be controlled, just as alcohol and tobacco are controlled. The current law is clearly not working. It should be scrapped and we should start again. If a law seems to be unenforceable then one would have to think very carefully about how to solve the problem in other ways. It cannot be a sound law if it does not achieve what it was meant to achieve."

Lord Prosser was responding to an inquiry about the case of Biz Ivol, a 56-year-old British woman who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and who was being prosecuted for distributing cannabis-laced chocolates to fellow MS sufferers. Prosecutors dropped that case last week, but Ivol still attempted to kill herself in protest of the persecution of medical marijuana patients. The attempt was unsuccessful, and Ivol is recovering.

Lord Prosser becomes the most senior Scottish legal figure to call for cannabis legalization. By Scottish convention, sitting judges do not comment on whether laws should be changed, but Prosser has been free to speak since his retirement.

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Issue #295, 7/11/03 Editorial: More Than One Kind of Pain | Alaska Court Rules Marijuana Possession Okay -- Judicial Day of Reckoning Coming | Doctors' Group Advises Physicians to Avoid Treating Pain with Opiates, Cites Persecution of Pain Doctors -- Tucson Case Illustrates Point | DRCNet Interview: Brazilian Antiprohibitionists Luiz Paulo Guanabara of Psicotropicus and Cecilia Szterenfeld of the Integrated Programs on Marginality | Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced in Argentina | In Memoriam: Don Topping, Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii | Newsbrief: Feds Appeal Ed Rosenthal Sentence | Newsbrief: Ruling Expected "Soon" in Santa Cruz Medical Marijuana Suit | Ashcroft Seeks Supreme Court Permission to Overturn Free Speech Ruling on Physician-Patient Discussion of Medical Marijuana | Newsbrief: Oregon Appeals Court Overturns Asset Forfeiture Reform | Newsbrief: Canadian Government to Distribute Medical Marijuana | Newsbrief: New DEA Administrator Karen Tandy Approved by Senate Judiciary Committee Following Medical Marijuana Controversy | Newsbrief: Former Scottish High Court Judge Says Legalize It | Newsbrief: British Doctors Don't Say Legalize It | The Reformer's Calendar

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