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Survey shows cannabis legalisation would result in six million new users

Dorset’s Police and Crime Commissioner, David Sidwick has welcomed the results of the recent Civitas study that suggests that the legalisation of cannabis would result in nearly six million new users. The study has found that a million young adults would try cannabis for the first time if it was legalised and more than five million parents of primary school children would take up the habit.

Cannabis is now the most consumed illegal drug in the UK, with almost a fifth of 15-year-olds admitting to smoking cannabis in the last year. Some are calling for the drug to be legalised with the Mayor of London petitioning for the drugs legal status to be reviewed.

Mr Sidwick said: “The results of this study don’t surprise me. I’ve been saying for a long time now that the decriminalisation of cannabis will not make life easier for the Police or any other institution, that deals with addiction or substance misuse and I was pleased to recently put forward my thoughts on this subject to the Home Office Select Committee.”

“This study is one of the largest polling exercises on cannabis ever conducted and uncovers a huge potential uplift in new cannabis users if the drug is legalised. More cannabis users will result in a further strain on health care resources as has been seen in countries where the drug has already been legalised. There will also be more cannabis related crime such as drug-driving.”

Last year research from Portugal, where cannabis has been legalised, showed a thirty-fold increase in reported psychosis cases. These new polling figures raise questions about whether the NHS could cope with millions of new cannabis users.

On top of this, the study has found that half of Britain’s parents are worried about their children using cannabis and say cannabis legalisation would make their job harder. According to parents, 1 in 5 children aged between 12-18 have been offered cannabis. The study found that most parents say legalising cannabis would make it harder for them to prevent their children from using the drug.

Mr Sidwick continued: “It is my vision to make Dorset the safest county in the country. Priority three of my Police and Crime Plan is to fight violent crime and high harm including addiction and substance misuse and I want to reaffirm my commitment to the people of Dorset, especially parents – that we will be taking a robust approach to tackling drugs with a focus on tough enforcement, effective treatment and rehabilitation, and impactful education.”

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