Proposals by some parliamentarians, including Lord William Hague, to legalise cannabis have been strongly criticised by leading medical professionals.
In June, activists were calling for the recreational usage of the class B drug. Although medical cannabis can help some patients, recreational use has been banned in the UK. However, the former foreign secretary claimed Britain should consider introducing a ‘lawful, regulated market in cannabis for recreational use’.
Lord Hague’s comments drew sharp criticism from many, including the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Simon Stevens, chief executive of the National Health Service (NHS). Mr Stevens told a health conference, ‘In countries where marijuana has been decriminalised, often young people, teenagers, come to think of smoking marijuana as safe; whereas, let’s be clear, actually it isn’t’.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists also spoke out on the clear link between cannabis and psychosis, underlining widespread mental health concerns. Lord Hague claimed the ‘war on cannabis’ had already been ‘lost’ and therefore it would be better to regulate, rather than maintain the status quo of illegal drug pushing and use.