Nina Lakhani, UK The Independent On Sunday September 16, 2007

Reclassification of cannabis ‘fuels youth crime wave’

Young offenders are taking up to 75 per cent more of the drug. Nine out of 10 in some areas take cannabis – those who work with them say the situation is ‘out of control.’

Cannabis use among Britain’s young offenders is “out of control”, up by 75 percent in some areas and fuelling a crime epidemic, with youngsters stealing to fund their addictions, according to two studies.

The decision to reclassify the drug three years ago has had another, more sinister impact, with organized crime taking a much more active role in the production and distribution of cannabis.

A rise in young people smoking cannabis openly has led to a rise in the fear of crime in the community leading Sheffield’s police chief to warn of the threat that cannabis poses to the “social fabric of society”.

Growing new strains of cannabis under ultra-violet lights, dealers are producing stronger varieties such as skunk, linked with the massive rise in cannabis related hospital admissions and addictions among young people, which have triggered the current government review by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs into whether cannabis should revert to being a Class B drug.


Return to News