Gordon Brown to reclassify cannabis laws

Prime Minister poised to forge ahead despite no scientific basis

Gordon Brown has given his strongest indication that he plans to press ahead with toughening up cannabis laws in the UK despite claims there is no scientific basis for change.

The Prime Minister said he would look at a final report about cannabis from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), but his views on the subject are already well-known.

He told GMTV: “I have always been worried about cannabis, with this new skunk, this more lethal part of cannabis.

“I don’t think that the previous studies took into account that so much of the cannabis on the streets is now of a lethal quality and we really have got to send out a message to young people – this is not acceptable.”

He said that he believed cannabis was a “gateway” drug.

He added: “I have always been very strongly of the view that cannabis is unacceptable and we have got to send a message. f people start with cannabis and then move on to other drugs that is also a big problem. But the report has just come to us, we will look at it and we will publish our results very soon.

“But I think people know my view about cannabis and particularly about this lethal version of it, skunk.”

His remarks came as it was revealed on Monday (April 29) that the government is to reject recommendations from the ACMD who believe that cannabis should remain a “soft” drug.

A final report from the high-powered group of advisers was delivered to the Home Office, although the government’s response will not be announced until next week at the earliest.

The experts – including doctors, police, judges and drug counsellors – are understood have concluded that cannabis should remain in the Class C category. However Whitehall sources indicated that Brown was determined to push through reclassification to Class B.