A fresh call was made today to legalise cannabis sales in the UK to try to disrupt criminal gangs.
Crispin Blunt, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform, is urging the Government to control sales as he claims that 50 years of “prohibition” has failed “lamentably”.
The Tory MP’s warning comes as NHS figures show a significant rise in under-19s admitted to hospital because of severe disorders caused by the drug.
The data published yesterday revealed that more than 3,400 under-19s were admitted to hospital last year for mental and behavioural illnesses sparked by cannabis. This is an increase of 38 per cent since 2013-2014.
Mr Blunt said: “Only through licensing and regulating can we ensure controls are in place on the potency of cannabis products sold and age checks on purchasers … Half a century of ‘just say no’ prohibition has failed lamentably.”
A Home Office spokesman said: “The government has no plans to legalise recreational cannabis. [That] would not eliminate the crime committed by the illicit trade, nor address the harms associated with drug dependence.”