Cannabis reclassified as a Class B drug

Government ignores expert opinions to make ruling

Cannabis has been reclassified a Class B drug, despite the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs advising that it should remain in the Class C classification.

Today’s (January 26) decision by Home Secretary Jacqui Swift goes against findings by the Advisory Council, which failed to find a link between cannabis use and mental illness.

Swift attempted to justify her decision in a statement.

It read: “Skunk, a much stronger version of the drug, now dominates the UK’s cannabis market,” Sky News reports her saying in the statement.

“Skunk has swept other, less potent, forms of cannabis off the market, and now accounts for 81 per cent of cannabis available on our streets, compared to just 30 per cent in 2002.”

The maximum sentence for possession of cannabis has risen from two to five years as a result of the classification.

Before today’s reclassification the drug had been downgraded from Class B to Class C in 2004 by then-Home Secretary David Blunkett, who made the move to decrease the amount of time police spent on crimes related to cannabis.