Legalize cannabis now or face mental health crisis, warns drug think-tank

18 Oct, 2017

Legalize cannabis now or face mental health crisis, warns drug think-tank

© imago stock&people / Global Look Press
Britain should legalize cannabis to prevent a mental health crisis, a leading drugs think-tank has said. It argues the substance should be legalized to protect people from more dangerous, high potency cannabis found on the black market.

According to the study, carried out by VolteFace magazine in association with Manchester Metropolitan University and King’s College London, the government must stop surrendering its drugs policy to criminals.

“Leaving cannabis policy out of control and wholly in the hands of criminals is no longer an option,” VolteFace said.

The report, titled ‘Street Lottery,’ points out the dramatic rise in the number of mental health referrals linked to cannabis and the prevalence of high potency cannabis on British streets.

It also states that prosecutions for possession and production of cannabis have halved over the past 10 years.

The report said the current system, which amounts to “strict illegality but patchy enforcement,” should be replaced with a tightly regulated market to prevent harmful forms of the drug being sold.

Some varieties of marijuana contain high levels of THC – the substance which gives you the ‘high’ but is also associated with addiction and negative side-effects if consumed frequently. One type, commonly referred to as ‘skunk,’ is short on CBD, the substance that minimizes the detrimental effects of THC.

Steve Moore, Director of VolteFace, said: “We need an honest and open dialogue about the harms of street cannabis and how the Government’s approach to tackling this issue is making the situation worse. We cannot turn our back on this or fudge the issue any longer.

“We need to give a clear public health message and educate society that high-potency cannabis use for many people is deeply problematic.

“Regulation provides answers across the board and is the only sensible way of addressing the issue.”

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© Andres Stapff


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