Testing the appetite for cannabis

THE day of a high-profile cannabis trial in the Royal Court. Tensions high on the court steps and political tensions are simmering too.

The move from the Health & Social Care Committee to push to review the legal status of cannabis has caused a stir and gained considerable support. Its supporters are vehement, stung in combined opposition to the result of Monday’s court case.

The opposition from the Committee for Home Affairs is equally strident, and possibly even more determined.

Will it derail the anticipated focus on housing in next week’s Government Work Plan? Probably not, but it can certainly be expected to take up a considerable portion of the States’ time across the week.

It means that the States will have a debate before it has a debate – the discussion on the rights and wrongs of cannabis will take place before deputies decide if they will investigate changing the legal status of the drug.

That is no bad thing. This will effectively serve as ‘early day motion’ – a chance to air an issue with little chance of it being progressed.

The States has form – its debate on, and subsequent deferral of, assistant dying is a previous example.

If the States wishes to stand firm on its highest priorities, this debate won’t get any further than an airing next week. But that's not a reason not to raise the issue and test the temperature.

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