Reply from my MP to an email about cannabis legalisation and the benefits it could have for communities facing financial crisis due to corona etc:
Thank you for your email about cannabis.
The Government has no plans to legalise the recreational use of cannabis. The official advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs cites medical and scientific research showing that cannabis use has a number of adverse acute and chronic health effects, especially for people with mental health problems, and continues to present a significant public health issue.
The impact of regular cannabis use on mental health has been well established. There is strong evidence to demonstrate that frequent use of cannabis is linked to the inducement of psychosis. One study in south London revealed a threefold increase in the risk of individuals having a psychotic disorder among regular cannabis users compared with those who do not use cannabis.
In recent years, we have seen a steady reduction in the use of cannabis: over the past 20 years, it has declined by 30%. YouGov polling conducted this year indicates that legislation could significantly disturb this overall downward trend. Over a quarter of people under 25 who have never tried cannabis indicated that they would definitely try it, or be likely to try it, if it was legalised. That is over 1 million 18 to 24-year-olds. Of those who have used cannabis before, well over a third of 18 to 24-year-olds said that they would be more likely to use it more regularly if it was decriminalised.
Decriminalisation is at best a risky step for us to take. While I understand the desire for something to be done to address this issue, I do not believe that liberalisation in this way is right for our country at this time. We need to do better for our young people, but giving up the war on cannabis is not the way to achieve it.
With best wishes
Ian Levy Member of Parliament for Blyth Valley
Submitted June 09, 2020 at 02:16PM by utb86
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