Opinion Former Article

PSAEW: Position Statement on the re-classification of Cannabis

The Superintendents' Association of England and Wales supports the re-classification of Cannabis as a Class B Drug. The downgrading to Class C sent out the wrong message unintentionally suggesting that Cannabis was harmless and legal.

Chief Superintendent Ian Johnston, the Association's President, said: 'The law relating to Cannabis is being interpreted in different ways in many parts of the country and young people believe the possession and use of Cannabis is lawful.

'The production and supply of Cannabis is often controlled by organised crime groups with associated violence and money laundering. These crime groups are responsible for the exploitation of vulnerable people, particularly youngsters going through adolescence.

'Prolonged use of Cannabis is de-motivating, can cause psychotic conditions and is damaging to both mental and physical health. This has been exacerbated by the wider availability of stronger forms of the drug. Many heroin and cocaine users began their drug dependency with Cannabis use in their teens.

'We believe that the decision to reclassify Cannabis to a Class B drug will send out a clear message, especially to the vulnerable and young, that Cannabis is illegal and can be dangerous.'

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