News

Home Secretary and ACMD to be judicially reviewed with regards to Alcohol and Tobacco Policy

Drug Equality Alliance
(1st September 2010)

Incarcerated US LSD chemist Casey Hardison, currently serving 20 years in the UK, seeks to judicially review the Home Secretary and the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs for their political exclusion of alcohol and tobacco from the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Though the claim is in the public interest, Casey ultimately wants equal treatment.

Drug Equality Alliance co-founder Casey Hardison has taken it upon himself to challenge the Home Secretary and the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) in the Administrative Court for their irrational, unfair, and possibly illegal exclusion of alcohol and tobacco from control under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

The Rule of Law principle of Equal Treatment suggests that either the Home Secretary and ACMD must implement 'prohibitive controls' on those concerned with alcohol and tobacco for non-medical or non-scientific use purposes, or they must fully implement a rational, evidence-based system of regulation, via the 1971 Act, similar to that suggested by Transform Drug Policy Foundation's 'After the War on Drugs - Blueprint for Regulation', for all controlled drugs.

The basis of the claim is the Home Secretary's and the ACMD's public interest duty to take action when they know a drug is being misused and that misuse is 'having harmful effects sufficient to constitute a social problem'. In 2006, both the Home Secretary and the ACMD accepted that alcohol and tobacco account for more health problems and deaths than all controlled drugs combined.

As the Act is neutral as to which drugs may be controlled, the exclusion of alcohol and tobacco appears arbitrary. It is this arbitrariness that has persons like Hardison serving lengthy sentences while those on the boards of alcohol and tobacco companies may attend Cabinet.

The Home Secretary and the ACMD have 14 days from receipt of Hardison's letters before claim to respond. Assuming they intend to contest Hardison's claim, he will be filing papers at the Administrative Court as Parliament returns.

DOWNLOADS:

Casey Hardison - Letter Before Claim Re. Controlling alcohol and tobacco under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 c38 (PDF)

Casey Hardison - Letter Before Claim Re. Applying s2 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 c38 to alcohol and tobacco (PDF)