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Volume 408: debated on Tuesday 1 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the reclassification of cannabis will be completed; and why this measure will not be introduced in July. [121865]

Subject to Parliamentary approval, cannabis will be reclassified to Class C under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 as soon as some related provisions in the Criminal Justice Bill currently before Parliament are brought into force. The related provisions introduce a power of arrest for the possession of Class C drugs and increase the penalties for trafficking Class C drugs. It is not expected that the Bill will receive the Royal Assent before the autumn, and the reclassification of cannabis will take effect as soon as practicable thereafter.