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Wootton Report

The Wootton Report was the report of a committee under the chairmanship of Baroness Wootton of Abinger.

The committee was set up by the British government in 1967 to examine the laws regulating narcotic drugs, and released its report on November 1, 1968. While it accepted that cannabis was not risk-free, and the report said that its wider use "should not be encouraged", the Committee declared:

"[...T]he dangers of its use as commonly accepted in the past and the risk of its progression to opiates have been overstated, and [...] the existing criminal sanctions intended to curb its use are unjustifiably severe."

Its recommendations included;

  • no prison sentences for possession of small quantities of cannabis,
  • no legal penalties for allowing private premises to be used for consumption and
  • the separation of the legal status of cannabis from that of heroin

and were swiftly enacted in law and have shaped official attitudes towards cannabis ever since.

Peter Hitchens argues in his book The Abolition of Liberty [ISBN 1-84354-149-1], that this report was a decisive moment in British official attitudes towards this drug, and led to its de facto decriminalisation in subsequent decades.

See also

  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA, USA)
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Wootton_Report". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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