The Liberal Democrat call for a regulated market in cannabis this week has attracted more media interest than out policies normally do.
You can read the evidence behind this policy in the report A framework for a regulated market for cannabis in the UK: Recommendations from an expert panel.
That expert panel was made up of:
- Steve Rolles, Senior Policy Analyst, Transform Drug Policy Foundation (Chair)
- Mike Barton, Chief Constable, Durham Constabulary
- Niamh Eastwood, Executive Director, Release
- Tom Lloyd, Chair of the National Cannabis Coalition and former Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire Police
- Professor Fiona Measham, Professor of Criminology, Durham University
- Professor David Nutt, Founder of DrugScience and former Chair of the Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs
- Professor Harry Sumnall, Professor of Substance Use, Centre for Public Health, Liverpool John Moores University
The prohibition on cannabis production and supply:
- Creates opportunities for criminal entrepreneurs, fuelling a vast and socially corrosive criminal market, associated with violence, people trafficking and slavery, including of children
- Ensures that people who use cannabis have little or no information about the potency of the product they are consuming
- Ensures people who use cannabis buy from potentially risky illicit markets that put them in contact with dealers of other more harmful drugs
- Has progressively tilted the market towards more risky products (with higher THC and lower CBD) that are more profitable to the criminal entrepreneurs who control the trade
- Has led to the rapid expansion of markets for more risky synthetic cannabis analogues (e.g. ‘spice’)