Time to legalise cannabis?

Police waste millions of hours 'enforcing cannabis prohibition'

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Why Britain Isn't Going to Legalise Cannabis Any Time Soon

It's been almost 20 years since things looked like they were going to change. Rewind to 1997. Tony Blair's just been elected Prime Minister; the Union Jack is trendy and the phrase "Cool Britannia" isn't just something you'd see on a shit mug marketed at Spanish tourists.

It's September and the Independent on Sunday has just launched a six-month campaign to get people talking about legalising cannabis in the UK. In March of 1998, an estimated 15,000 to 25,000 people light up in Hyde Park for a pro-legalisation rally that makes its way to Trafalgar Square.

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Cannabis | FRANK

Cannabis is the most widely-used illegal drug in Britain, although the numbers of people using it are falling.

Cannabis is naturally occurring - it is made from the cannabis plant.

The main active chemical in it is tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC for short).

THC is the ingredient in cannabis that can make you feel very chilled out, happy and relaxed.

THC can also make you hallucinate, meaning that it can alter your senses, so that you might see, hear or feel things in a different way to normal.

There are many myths about cannabis - that it’s safe because it’s natural, that using cannabis will completely ruin your life, your health and your future or that using cannabis will lead you into using other, more dangerous drugs. What is true is that cannabis can have some very real, harmful effects on your mind and body, as well as creating longer-term problems:

Cannabis affects how your brain works. It can make you feel very anxious and even paranoid, it can make it difficult for you to concentrate and learn, make your memory worse and make you feel less motivated.

Tobacco and cannabis share some of the same chemical 'nasties' and just like smoking tobacco, smoking cannabis has been linked to lung diseases like tuberculosis and lung cancer.

Using it has also been linked, in some people, to serious, long-term mental health problems.

A conviction for possessing cannabis could lead to a caution, a fine or even jail.

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