Sunday, August 15, 1999 Published at 15:17 GMT 16:17 UK
Welsh leader supports cannabis call
Paddy Ashdown and Charles Kennedy at the leadership elections
The leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats in the National Assembly, Mike German, has supported UK leader Charles Kennedy's call for a Royal Commission to examine legalising cannabis.
The call for a Commission has been Lib Dem policy for many years and had been passed at annual conference.
Former leader Paddy Ashdown played down the conference decision, but the spokesman said Mr Kennedy was determined to speak out on issues that other parties were too timid to tackle.
Call for openness
Mr German said it was important that the issue was brought out into the open and wanted an investigation of subject which ahd been taboo for many years.
"I think it's about time politicians put things into the public eye," he said.
But shadow home secretary Ann Widdecombe attacked Mr Kennedy's proposals.
"Charles Kennedy clearly has yet to learn how a responsible party leader should behave," she said.
"This is an unbelievable first commitment which will alienate many of the people who put a cross by his name in the recent leadership election, and who voted Liberal Democrat two years ago."
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