MPs have spoken out against the legalisation of cannabis during a Parliamentary debate.
A Westminster Hall debate was held on Monday in response to an online petition calling for the production, sale and use of cannabis to be legalised.
Home Office Minister Mike Penning MP said that the Government would not support the call.
Cannabis was downgraded from a Class B drug to a Class C drug in 2004 in a move which was later branded a “disaster”.
In the three years following the downgrade, the number of cannabis users receiving NHS treatment doubled. The number of children aged 15-and-under being treated for mental illness also rose dramatically.
Increasing evidence of a link between cannabis use and mental illness was cited by MPs in the debate as they warned against any further liberalisation of drug laws.
adolescents who use cannabis regularly have a significantly higher risk of developing depression, anxiety and psychotic illnesses…
Director of The Christian Institute, Colin Hart, cautioned that the Government has already tried a soft approach to cannabis, with harmful outcomes.
Mr Hart said: “We have tried this before and witnessed serious ramifications for people’s health.
“How much more disastrous would it be for society if we legalised cannabis completely?
“The law, as it stands, is working well and the Government should continue to put its resources into enforcing the law and getting people off illegal drugs.”
Mary Brett, spokeswoman for the charity Cannabis Skunk Sense, echoed the concerns of those opposed to the move.
She warned that cannabis use seriously impairs learning in young people and leads to disruptive and violent behaviour.