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Drugs Education

Volume 402: debated on Friday 4 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether it is his Department's policy to include organisations which support the legalisation of cannabis in the list of organisations it recommends to schools for providing advice to young people on drugs. [107210]

Poster 31166 was not produced for schools, although teachers could register to receive it. The Department is not aware of any material produced by organisations listed on poster 31166 that explicitly promotes the legalisation of cannabis.Policy on recommending to schools who should provide advice to young people on drugs is the responsibility of the Department for Education and Skills (DIES). DfES do not recommend or endorse specific organisations for providing advice to young people on drugs, although they do fund training for schools. This is to ensure that schools have the knowledge and skills to make such decisions based on the needs of their pupils and the policy of their school governors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much it cost to produce the poster for schools 31166—Where to find resources; how widely it was distributed; and what representations he has received about it. [107211]

The poster was not produced for schools, although teachers could register to receive it. The total production and distribution cost for poster 31166 was (fully inclusive of all mailing costs) £7,200, at a unit cost of 16p.45,000 copies were produced.The poster was distributed to people who had registered to receive general health promotion information and to health promotion units. Two thirds of the original print run have been distributed. The poster is available on the Department's website. While there are no plans to print further copies at this stage, updates and corrections will be made to the document displayed on the Department's website. I am not aware of any further representations about this poster.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what criteria the Department used to decide which organisations to include as resources on drugs on the Department's poster for schools 31166—Where to find resources. [107213]

The poster was not produced for schools, although teachers could register to receive it. The list of contacts included covered larger national organisations that produce information for the public on a range of health issues, including drugs. As poster 31166 clearly states, this list is not exhaustive and inclusion does not signify endorsement by the Department.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the criticisms of Lifeline Drug Information and Advice contained in paragraph 207 of the Third Report from the Home Affairs Committee, Session 2001–02. [107214]

Following the Home Affairs Committee's report, the Government gave a commitment to review its rules on the use of public money to fund drugs communications with young people. The review was undertaken by officials from the Home Office, the Department of Health and the Department for Education and Skills, as well as voluntary sector partners, academic and communications experts. The new rules have now been approved by Ministers and will be made public shortly.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions his Department had with the Home Office before producing poster 31166—Where to find resources; when the last meeting took place between his Department and the Home Office to discuss drug education in schools and how frequently such meetings take place. [107212]

Officials from the Department of Health and the Home Department are in regular contact over matters of drug policy, and meet frequently. The Departments work closely together to co-ordinate delivery of the national drug strategy although this would not include detailed discussions on each piece of work.