Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg plans to include decriminalisation of cannabis as a key point in his party’s election manifesto, despite some MPs calling this ‘completely and utterly irresponsible’. The leader of the Lib Dems is to join Sir Richard Branson by calling for criminal sanctions to be removed for those in possession of soft drugs such as cannabis. However, a recent report linking ‘skunk’ cannabis to a quarter of all new psychosis cases has led to some branding Mr Clegg as irresponsible.
The Lib Dem party’s manifesto will include a plan to end prosecution for possession of some drugs and it would mean that, if police caught people in possession of cannabis that they determined was for personal use, that person would avoid prosecution and he or she would be given treatment instead.
A recent report by the Institute of Psychiatry revealed that skunk cannabis was so strong that it was causing a number of psychosis cases among users. This led to calls for cannabis to be reclassified as a Class B drug; some previous advocates for legalisation of the drug have done a U-turn.
Mr Clegg has described the drugs laws in the UK as ‘utterly senseless’ and feels that sending addicts to prison will lead to them becoming hooked on harder drugs or will see them stuck in a life of crime. He is due to appear at the Chatham House think-tank later this week with Sir Richard Branson to talk about decriminalising certain soft drugs, but some are saying that this will smack of hypocrisy as he is also planning to talk about mental illness later this week and how more funding is required.
Following recent changes to the law in places such as Alaska and Jamaica, Sir Richard Branson has spoken of his delight at these ‘great examples of sensible drug policy’.
He plans to speak alongside Mr Clegg about how the current drugs laws in the UK are failing to tackle the international drugs trade. Mr Clegg’s spokesperson said, “The current system isn’t working. We should be treating possession of drugs as a health issue to help addicts deal with their problems.”
However, Charles Walker, Tory MP said, “This is completely and utterly irresponsible. And I speak as someone who has met the devastated parents of the young victims.”
The problem with cannabis sold on the streets today is that it is much stronger than it was a decade ago. Many believe that those who are calling for legalisation of the drug or a relaxed approach to possession are basing their views on the type of cannabis that was available many years ago.
However, research has shown that certain versions of cannabis, such as skunk, are a lot stronger and much more addictive these days, which is the reason for the increased cases of psychosis.
If you think you may have become addicted to cannabis then there are certain signs to look out for. For example, you may have developed a tolerance to the drug and feel that you need to use more of it in order to experience the same effects you once did. Some people will experience withdrawal symptoms when they are not smoking cannabis, including anxiety or nausea. Others cannot stop smoking cannabis, despite promising loved ones that they would. If this sounds like you, you need to get help. Rehab Helper is a referral service working with individuals suffering with all types of addiction. We help by providing information, advice, and support to addicts and their families. Our service is free and confidential, so call today and we will put you in touch with a suitable treatment provider.