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Downgrade Ecstasy, London Police Suggest

Author: Jonty Adderley
Friday, November 2, 2001
Ecstasy should be reclassified from class A to class B, senior British cops suggested this week, following the government's unexpected decision to reclassify cannabis (from B to C).

"We need to achieve a balance of police resources focusing a greater priority on class A drugs," Andy Hayman, the chairman of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) told the Observer. "ACPO's submission to the Independent Enquiry into Drugs, based on the most up-to-date medical and scientific research, was that some drugs seem to be in too high a class, including ecstasy."

Leading British opinion former Simon Jenkins (a former editor of the London Times) went even further, pointing out that ecstasy users face even greater dangers from adulterated pills.

"As with cannabis outlets, the choice in all these cases of failed law enforcement is simple; it is between some attempt at a licensed market and criminal anarchy," he said (writing in the Standard). "If we say no to the former, we will have the latter. We have tried it for 30 years and it has not worked."

Britain's third political party the Liberal Democrats also indicated this week that they'll be seeking to change the laws against ecstasy, possibly even moving towards a policy of legalising all drugs for personal use, as recently happened in Portugal.