Law on cannabis

Published June 1, 2002


(ENI)-A senior Church of England bishop, John Oliver, has supported a growing movement in Britain to relax the law against using cannabis.

Bishop Oliver said the law against the use of cannabis had become unenforceable and police energies would be better directed to the fight against hard drugs.

Bishop Oliver is the bishop of Hereford, an area of north-west England that attracted world-wide publicity in March with shock pictures of a dead 21-year-old heroin addict, Rachel Whitear. With the permission of her family, health authorities released the pictures, including one of the corpse holding a syringe, in a bid to deter others from taking hard drugs.

The bishop called for more education to persuade cannabis users not to switch to harder drugs. He said that it is not good to be on cannabis, which is not a harmless drug. However, he added that cannabis isn’t always a gateway to hard drugs.

The 67-year-old bishop, who said he had never smoked cannabis, described himself as “reluctantly in agreement” with the campaign to relax the law.


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