Nick Clegg has endorsed a controversial report calling for governments around the world to consider legalising cannabis.
The Deputy Prime Minister signed a foreword to the paper, entitled ‘Ending the Drug Wars’, which was produced by the London School of Economics (LSE) with support from a pro-legalisation foundation.
But earlier this year, Clegg’s calls for a “different strategy” to tackle drugs following a trip to Columbia were dismissed by David Cameron.
A spokesman from No 10 said: “The prime minister’s views are well known.”
“He thinks we have the right approach. The government has a good record in this area with drug usage at its lowest level since records began.”
The LSE study suggests policies to accompany legalisation, such as rationing, enforcement of high prices and provision of drug treatment services.
The report says: “No system of legal availability is likely to entirely prevent an increase in problem use.
“But pioneering jurisdictions should consider alternative approaches including non-profit regimes and state monopoly.”
Mr Clegg is among 21 academics and campaigners who have signed the foreword to the paper.
Mary Brett, of Europe Against Drugs, criticised the study.
She said: “Why would you want to legalise cannabis, which would only encourage greater usage? If you make cannabis legal, you are saying to young people that smoking it is OK.
“The evidence shows strongly that using cannabis leads to lower IQ among young people, that it is linked to mental illness, heart attacks and other diseases.”
The paper will be launched tomorrow at the LSE by Guatemala’s minister of the interior, Mauricio López Bonilla.