Govt rebuffs Hague: There are ‘absolutely no plans to legalise cannabis’

Cannabis will not be legalised for recreational use, the Home Secretary has said, despite pressure from former Conservative leader William Hague.

Sajid Javid told the House of Commons that cannabis “can harm people’s mental and physical health, and damage communities”.

And The Christian Institute noted the “big difference” between alcohol and cannabis, with the banned substance being “very unpredictable in its effects”.

‘Get rid’

In his Daily Telegraph article, Lord Hague said it “must now be asked” whether Britain should introduce “a lawful, regulated market in cannabis for recreational use”.

Claiming the change would be “economically and socially beneficial”, he said the nation should “get rid” of the law as it stands.

Although he said he does not support the recreational use of any drugs, he feels the idea of legal cannabis “might just command respect and success”.

Road deaths

Speaking on Premier Radio, Director of The Christian Institute Colin Hart said believers should not support legalising the drug for recreational use.

He reflected on a personal experience of a cousin who was killed by a driver high on the drug, and said unlike alcohol, the effects of cannabis remain in the system for days afterwards.

Many concerns have been raised about cannabis – not least psychosis – but there has been sustained pressure for a weakening of the law.

Medical cannabis review

In the Commons yesterday, Javid also announced a Government review into the ‘medical benefits’ of cannabis.

Javid was adamant that the investigation “is in no way a first step to the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use” but will involve the Chief Medical Officer considering the “medicinal and therapeutic benefits of cannabis-based medicines”.

Mr Hart also addressed this aspect of the plans on Premier Radio, saying many powerful drugs are used in medicine but are subject to “proper testing and drug trials”.

He added that “we need to be careful” that such a move does not lead to recreational legalisation.

Experimenting with young minds

Earlier this year, two experienced psychiatrists said countries legalising cannabis are experimenting with the minds of their youth.

Professor Robin Murray and Marco Colizzi said it was “now incontrovertible that heavy cannabis use increases the risk of psychosis”.

In an editorial for The British Journal of Psychiatry, they said much of the pressure for legal cannabis comes not from the public “but rather from investors keen to make a fast buck”.

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