Response to Debate - Large majority of voters back cannabis legalisation

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Tim Farron, Liberal Democrat leader and MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale. MILTON HAWORTH
Tim Farron, Liberal Democrat leader and MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale. MILTON HAWORTH
17 February 2016 10:15AM

The majority of our online voters in today's debate believe that it should be right to legalise cannabis for recreational use.

This comes after a Cumbria MP called for the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use - sparking a row with an aspiring police and crime commissioner.

Tim Farron, the Westmorland and Lonsdale MP, will back a motion calling for his Liberal Democrats party to extend its existing support for the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use to recreational use.

The motion follows the release of findings from an expert, Lib Dem-appointed panel.

Mr Farron becomes the first main party leader to propose decriminalising the drug for social use.

He said: "I believe in evidence-based policy making and making sure that decisions are made with all the information available and in the public domain.

"I think this furthers public policy making and delivers better outcomes.

"The party went into the last election proposing that drug use should be treated as a health issue and allowing police to focus on those manufacturing, importing or dealing in illegal drugs.

"With that in mind, the Liberal Democrats will be releasing a report of independent experts in the coming weeks talking about the issue."

 Peter McCall

Peter McCall

Peter McCall, the Conservative candidate hoping to be the next Cumbria police and crime commissioner, hit back at Mr Farron's comments on the issue via Twitter, saying: "Unbelievable populist nonsense. We need less drugs not more" and "Just Say No".

Mr McCall said: "I'm absolutely opposed to the idea of seeing any relaxation around the laws of cannabis use and the potential for more drugs on our streets."

The commissioner candidate said there is evidence out there about the addiction and psychotic risks caused by cannabis, particularly with young people, and the link to crime.

Mr McCall said: "Evidence from Canada has shown that cannabis can cause impairment to learning ability and concentration.

"The thought of it getting into our schools, and where young people would get the money from, it fills me with horror."

As of 4pm today, 85% of our online voters were in favour of legalising cannabis for recreational use, with just 15% of voters against the idea.

Should cannabis be made legal for recreational use?

Yes

No

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rock   star , uk Monday, 15 February, 2016 at 5:47PM
If i was a conservative voter in this area i would be giving mccall a swerve. Clearly has no grip on reality. Cannabis is already in schools. Its available due to there being no responsible and regulated market. Prohibition has failed and causes more harm than the drugs themselves. And whilst he's whipping out the studies why not pull out the ones that show in legal regulated marketplaces such as colarado, washington and the netherlands show that use in young people has reduced since being legal. Or our own governments report stating that harsher punishments have no effect on peoples use of drugs. Lastely id like to play the cannabis is 114 times safer than alcohol card
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C   Stevens , South West Monday, 15 February, 2016 at 5:42PM
Legal access to cannabis would result in less on the streets not more. It's already in schools because there is no official control other than that provided by organised crime. How someone so thick could be considered as a police commissioner (let alone an MP) defies belief.
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Alun   Buffry , Norwich, UK Monday, 15 February, 2016 at 5:11PM
people should only be punished if they put others at risk or do harm. what people choose to consumer should be up to them, not the law; we are all supposed to have Ffreedom to a Private Life and Freedom to choose and practice beliefs, under Human Rights law. the law ought to protect victimless cannabis users just as it protects victimless drinkers
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malcolm   kyle , Keswick Monday, 15 February, 2016 at 4:08PM
Study: Cannabis Use Not Predictive Of Lower IQ, Poorer Educational Performance “… to test the relationships between cumulative cannabis use and IQ at the age of 15 and educational performance at the age of 16. After full adjustment, those who had used cannabis more than 50 times did not differ from never-users on either IQ or educational performance. Adjusting for group differences in cigarette smoking dramatically attenuated the associations between cannabis use and both outcomes, and further analyses demonstrated robust associations between cigarette use and educational outcomes, even with cannabis users excluded. These findings suggest that adolescent cannabis use is not associated with IQ or educational performance once adjustment is made for potential confounds, in particular adolescent cigarette use.” Source: C Mokrysz, et al. Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit, University College London. Published January 6, 2016 in Journal of Psychopharmacology. http://intl-jop.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/01/06/0269881115622241.full Daily Marijuana Use Is Not Associated with Brain Morphometric Measures in Adolescents or Adults "No statistically significant differences were found between daily users and nonusers on volume or shape in the regions of interest. Effect sizes suggest that the failure to find differences was not due to a lack of statistical power, but rather was due to the lack of even a modest effect. In sum, the results indicate that, when carefully controlling for alcohol use, gender, age, and other variables, there is no association between marijuana use and standard volumetric or shape measurements of subcortical structures." The Journal of Neuroscience, 28 January 2015, 35(4): 1505-1512; doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2946-14.2015
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dave   , manchester Monday, 15 February, 2016 at 2:34PM
do not legalise this god awful drug......I have heard it makes you eat turnips and sing gangam style continuously. Beer is only good and fags.
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Chris   Kuma , Channel Islands Monday, 15 February, 2016 at 2:14PM
Mr McCall, cannabis is already in the schools of Britain and in the hands of British kids, prohibition has clearly failed on those fronts. One of strongest arguments for the regulation of cannabis, among many others, is that a regulated supply is just that, regulated, as a serving police officer I'm sure that you're aware of the fact that unregulated black market dealers are under no obligation to ask for ID from their many paying customers.
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Mary   Juana , Australia Monday, 15 February, 2016 at 1:56PM
I honestly feel the only way we are going to see any action on Cannabis legalisation is by getting all the politicians and Peter McCall in parliament bringing in the cannabis legalisation paperwork hot box parliament with the finest Cannabis on the market, within ten minutes they will sign the cannabis legalisation paperwork and cannabis will become legal for everyone, it's worth a shot if all else fails
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John   Parminter , Barrow in Furness Monday, 15 February, 2016 at 11:44AM
Recreational use....are you having a laugh?...When your daughter, son, wife, family member is maimed or killed by someone "using" for recreation whilst driving, for example, how will you feel then? haven't we enough drink drivers in this country who never learn? Unfortunately the police haven't enough resources to control either....
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Cann   Abis , Australia Monday, 15 February, 2016 at 10:49AM
Cannabis is a natural herb and was designed by nature to interact with our bodies in a positive manner which is why hundreds of millions of people worldwide enjoy and use cannabis because they benefit from its use whether recreationally or medicinally or spiritually. Cannabis is not a drug it is a natural plant/herb/flower but its definetly not a drug
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Johnny   KK , Melbourne Monday, 15 February, 2016 at 9:56AM
Mr McCall is a pathetic joke and should definitely not become police and crime commissioner he needs to have a hard long look and realise he is a part of the problem, basically using children as an excuse and the latest info from Canada explaining how after 40 years of cannabis use you may simply forget a word or two from your vocabulary, that information was a slap in the face for anybody against cannabis because it basically clarified cannabis is a harmless herb it's natural and it helps to heal the body MrMcCall it's people like you that bully and harass the innocent it's people like you that are fuelling the drug problems, MrMcCall 70 years ago you could argue about your laughable cannabis propaganda in 2016 with science and evidence you simply cannot, change your attitude or get out of the game because we don't anymore human rights abusers, we need a police force with their head on their shoulders fighting real crime not harassing the innocent so I say to you MRMCCALL wake up or get out!!
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