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Challenge to Charles Clarke on drugs

David Davis has thrown down the gauntlet to new Home Secretary Charles Clarke, challenging him to reverse Labour's disastrous decision to declassify cannabis.

The senior Conservative made the dramatic move amid clear evidence that the decision to downgrade cannabis to a Class C drug has not only resulted in more drugs abuse and crimes of violence, but also flies in the face of Mr Clarke's views on the issue expressed before he was elevated to his new senior Cabinet post.

Mr Davis, the Shadow Home Secretary, recalled how in March 2002 Mr Clarke declared during a BBC TV On the Record programme interview: "I believe the most likely impact of a relaxation in the law on [cannabis] would be to increase consumption, and I think that would be bad for the people concerned and bad for society."

And he said: "Since Charles Clarke left the Home Office, drug offences, criminal damage, theft, robbery, and violence against the person have all gone up and British teenagers top the EU league of drug abuse. The only significant policy on drugs in this time has been the declassification of Cannabis to a Class 'C' drug."

Mr Davis told "So now we call on the new Home Secretary to reflect on his comments of four years ago and reverse the declassification of cannabis, for the sake of society and all those concerned."

Davis, David

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