Cannabis will be reclassified to the class B category of illegal drugs, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has announced today.
The drug was controversially moved down to class C in 2004 by former Home Secretary, David Blunkett.
Since then, police, parents and mental health experts have called for the move to be reversed because of the risks associated with using the drug.
The Christian Institute argued against weakening the law in 2004, warning of the potential consequences to crime and mental health.
Today’s Home Office decision goes against the recommendations of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.
Following a review of the law on cannabis, the Council concluded that reclassification was not necessary. But it did acknowledge a probable causal link between cannabis and psychotic illnesses, like schizophrenia.
Miss Smith said: “I have given the council’s report careful consideration. Of the council’s 21 recommendations I accept all bar those relating to classification.
“I have decided to reclassify cannabis to a class B drug, subject to Parliamentary approval.”
She added: “There is a compelling case for us to act now rather than risk the future health of young people.
“Where there is a clear and serious problem, but doubt about the harm that will be caused, we must err on the side of caution and protect the public. I make no apology for that – I am not prepared to ‘wait and see’.”