Parents have their say on cannabis

This report from UK think tank Civitas looks at polling on the use of cannabis and the views of parents.

Our large scale survey of the UK population discovers that almost 6 million people would try cannabis for the first time if it were legalised. We also uncovered a hidden crisis in parents using cannabis, with twice as many parents saying they have used cannabis ‘many times’ in the last ten years as non-parents. Our survey tells us legalising cannabis would lead to an extra 1.5 million parents of young children using cannabis. Despite the almost constant argument made in favour of legalisation by well-funded lobby groups half of Britain’s parents are worried about their children using cannabis and say cannabis legalisation would make their job harder. A third of parents told us that ordering cannabis was as easy as ordering a pizza. Street dealers were clear, that if the country legalised cannabis they would simply undercut high street chemists and supermarkets and it would do nothing to stop gang violence.

Parents agree and told us that drug dealers would continue to target their children even if cannabis were legalised. Our polling shows that one in five under 18s have been offered cannabis, according to British parents, a figure that is likely to be a significant underestimate, and these parents want to see the government and the police take tougher action on cannabis. There is overwhelming support for the police using stop and search to remove cannabis from our streets and parents support schools calling in the police if cannabis use is suspected. Non-white parents are much more supportive of schools testing and searching children for cannabis than white parents. The potential cannabis market in the UK is estimated to be worth more than £2.5 billion to companies looking to profit from the drug.There is a lot of money to be made through a legal cannabis market and increasingly politicians are simply shrugging their shoulders and acquiescing to calls to legalise cannabis as if nothing else could be done. The results of these surveys should make us stop and think.

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