Today, I'm in The Times arguing that legalising recreational cannabis is the only policy that can protect young people and deprive violent gangs of control over an unregulated market. You can read the full piece here (register for free to access). Here’s an extract:
Growing up as a teenager in Essex, my friends who used cannabis all smoked skunk. Dealers were often teenagers themselves and never asked for ID. They didn’t know the strength of their product and offered no information on the potential health effects. Some were even robbed at knifepoint after travelling to meet dealers in alleyways to reduce the risk of getting cautioned or arrested by police. Others (especially teenage girls) risked worse when they climbed into strangers’ cars to buy cannabis.
All of these problems could be solved under a legal, properly regulated system.
You can also read former Executive Director Sam Bowman's previous Thunderer piece on the same topic here. If you're interested in joining the push to change our failed system of prohibition then check out Cannabis in the UK: a project of our friends at VolteFace.