BBC’s pro-cannabis stance on display in new documentary

The BBC has been criticised for a documentary about cannabis biased towards pro-legalisation.

The documentary titled ‘Cannabis: Time for a change?’ gave little time to opposing views.

In the 32-minute programme, just six minutes were made up of critics speaking against legalisation.

Normalisation of cannabis

During the programme, presenter Jim Connolly heard calls for the legalisation of cannabis from members of a ‘Cannabis Club’ in Brighton.

The programme also spoke to Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable, who said his party will continue to push for the legalisation of cannabis.

And there was an admission from the president of UK Cannabis Social Clubs, Greg de Hoedt, that his group is “definitely trying to normalise cannabis use”.

Cannabis is a Class B drug which carries a maximum sentence for possession of five years and an unlimited fine.

Gateway drug

In the limited time given to those opposed to legalisation, Swedish Minister for Social Affairs Annika Strandhall described cannabis as a gateway to other drugs.

“A lot of studies show that an extensive use of cannabis, or regular use of cannabis at an early age, affects especially young people’s brains.

“So that’s why it’s an important part of our drug policy to prevent the start, or the gateway, that cannabis is for many young people into heavier drugs.”

Sweden has a zero tolerance approach and has one of the lowest levels of illegal drug use in the world.


In a separate BBC Newsbeat radio debate titled ‘Legalising Cannabis’, a similar bias towards the pro-legalisation side occurred.

Head of Communications at The Christian Institute Ciarán Kelly questioned why the BBC would not give equal time to people with opposing views.

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