The Telegraph 7 December 2018
Family First Comment: “Legalisation would also increase the frequency of use. Of those aged 18-24 who said they had smoked cannabis before, over a third admitted they would smoke it more frequently if it was legalised.”
Legalising cannabis could lead to an extra one million using the drug with 100,000 becoming addicted, according to a new study which warns of the dangers of “sucking young people into the mayhem”.
A report by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) linked cannabis use to mental health problems and found “a very real prospect” of more young people taking up the drug if it becomes legal.
New YouGov polling, cited in the report, revealed that nearly a quarter of 18-24 year olds who had never used cannabis before would “definitely or probably try it” if the law changed – equating to more than one million new cannabis users under the age of 25 alone.
According to WHO and NHS estimates, at least 10 per cent of this number would become addicted – 100,000 people, with the rate of addiction thought to be 10 per cent in adults but as high as 1 in 6 users under 25.
The poll claims legalisation would also increase the frequency of use. Of those aged 18-24 who said they had smoked cannabis before, over a third admitted they would smoke it more frequently if it was legalised.
Andy Cook, Chief Executive of the CSJ, said: “Advocates of cannabis legalisation or decriminalisation should think through the implications of their views. They would open the floodgates to hundreds of thousands of new users, many of whom will be young and vulnerable, and so more prone to damaging physical and mental damage.
“Managing a cannabis free-for-all would also prove a nightmare in which the drug would become even more widely available and young children would be sucked into the mayhem.
“We should not be disheartened in the effort to curb illegal drug abuse. For all our difficulties, we should remember that only about seven per cent of people aged 16-59 have smoked cannabis in the last year.”
Describing how the law acts as a deterrent, the report states: “The existing law does mitigate the risk that cannabis poses. Although there has been a slight uplift in recent years, cannabis consumption has been falling for nearly 20 years in the UK. A great many people do take the law seriously and, to many, the law continues to deter them from using a harmful substance”.
READ MORE: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/12/07/legalising-cannabis-could-result-extra-one-million-young-people/