Cannabis — reclassification from class C back to class B — 12 Nov 2008 at 21:01

The majority of MPs voted to reclassify cannabis from a class C to a class B drug[1] by approving the The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (Amendment) Order 2008.

This order reversed the reclassification of cannabis from class B to class C that was voted on by MPs in 2003 -- in which all the Labour MPs switched sides, while the other parties remained consistent.[2]

No debate was scheduled among MPs on this order (though there was a debate in the Lords),[3] and there nearly was no vote at all.

The vote only happened because an MP in the Commons chamber on 10 November was able to follow the absolutely opaque procedures and shout "Object" at exactly the right moment, and then have enough of friends around to shout "No" when the speaker muttered the words "Motion number twelve". The exchange is available on video.

Although Parliament widely applies computers to the production of printed documents at an ever increasing volume, its procedures and accountability for what it does remain stuck in the 19th century -- when such volumes of information were far less insurmountable. For example, they do not use a system for uniquely tagging these orders so that computers could create databases to link up all the official instances of an order in Parliament in order to allow people to navigate through this overwhelming mass of misfiled data. Instead, it has taken me over an hour to locate and verify this vote on this Order and create this page so that people can actually find out where their democratic representative stands on an issue. If the information is not available to the public, then the election of these representatives by the public cannot be informed by it, and their basis for claiming an irrevokable mandate for their political judgment is open to dispute.

Debate in Parliament | Source |

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Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (Aye)Minority (No)BothTurnout
Con145 2076.2%
DUP6 0066.7%
Independent4 0080.0%
Lab265 4076.9%
LDem2 48079.4%
PC1 0033.3%
SDLP3 00100.0%
SNP3 0042.9%
UKIP1 00100.0%
Total:430 54076.3%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

Stephen CrabbPreseli PembrokeshireCon (front bench)no
Philip HammondRunnymede and WeybridgeCon (front bench)no
Harry CohenLeyton and WansteadLab (minister)no
Paul FlynnNewport WestLab (minister)no
Lynne JonesBirmingham, Selly OakLab (minister)no
John Martin McDonnellHayes and HarlingtonLabno
Bob RussellColchesterLDem (front bench)aye
Mark WilliamsCeredigionLDem (front bench)aye

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