Ed Miliband has stated his opposition to the decriminalisation of drugs saying it would send the ‘wrong message’.
The Labour leader made the remarks during a question and answer discussion with an audience of young people as part of the run up to the next election.
Mr Miliband’s comments come after recent calls by the Liberal Democrats for a new approach to regulating drugs.
A member of the audience asked Mr Miliband if he had ever experimented with drugs and he said he had not.
Responding to recent calls for a softening of the law on cannabis, he said: “I’m not in favour of decriminalisation – for example of cannabis.
“I think there are mental health effects of cannabis, which maybe people didn’t realise a decade ago.”
He said that the Government should “always be looking at the way we discourage young people from taking drugs”.
In October, the Liberal Democrats seized upon the findings of a Home Office drugs report as evidence in favour of decriminalisation.
But Downing Street responded saying that a radical change in drugs policy would “send an incredibly dangerous message to young people”.
Drugs devastate lives
And in a survey commissioned by The Christian Institute, respondents agreed that the answer to Britain’s drug problem is tougher enforcement.
A ComRes poll of voters in marginal constituencies found that 56 per cent think the right approach is to enforce the current law, while fewer than one in four (24 per cent) supported a more liberal stance.
Colin Hart, Director of The Christian Institute, commented: “This poll highlights just how out of touch those pushing for the legalisation of drugs are.
“The public know that drugs devastate lives and cost the country billions. Making access to these dangerous substances easier will simply make matters worse.”