Listening to the Today Programme this morning on the bus, and couldn't help but snort loudly at an interview with some prick from the Magistrates' Association who was on to protest at the (further) re-classification of cannabis to a Class B drug. Not so much this, actually, as what he was decrying as the obfuscation of the issue by newly issued Home Office guidance on dealing with cannabis, which now recommends a fixed penalty for possession. His point, for what it's worth, was that this guidance was causing confusion amongst the morons in the chair at the Magistrates Courts and undermining the principles of community justice.
Whatever the rights and wrongs of the laws and the wars on drugs (and I think you might be able to guess on which side of the divide I sit) I found it to be incredibly insulting that, when asked, this pillar of the community didn't know which other drugs were also included in the B classification. Neither, as it happens, did Ed Sturton, so the matter was dropped. This is a paraphrase of the segment of the interview as I remember it:
ES: Just to clarify, what other drugs are included in Class B?
MG (Magistrate Guy):ES: No, neither am I. So, if you don't know, and I don't either, let's not go there.
You've got me there. I'm not the sort of person to get involved with Class B drugs...
Now, I wasn't fully aware of the drugs in Class B, but I thought (correctly as it happens) that speed might have been one of them. Here is the current Home Office guidance, which has since this morning been amended to reflect the changes discussed on the Today programme. Speed (unless used to inject) Ritalin and Pholcodine (whatever that is) are included. Magic mushrooms are Class A, while ketamine is Class C! I ask you.
Well, don't even get me started on the later interview about the DEC Gaza appeal with someone from UNRWA and a very shouty James Naughtie...