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Christian Institute say don't change cannabis law

by Cara Bentley

A review is to take place into the current legal position of cannabis and was announced in the House of Commons on Tuesday. The Home Secretary Sajid Javid says a ban on recreational use will remain but the medicinal use will be looked at. 

The announcement comes just days after a decision to grant 12-year-old Billy Caldwell - who has epilepsy - permission to be treated with cannabis oil. Several other parents have raised similar concerns about the medicinal need for rare conditions. 

The Christian Institute take the view that further legalisation could lead to increased uses outside of medicine. 

Colin Hart, Director of the Christian Institute, said: "There are all sorts of powerful drugs that are used in medicine – that's fine as long as there's proper testing and drug trials. Some derivatives of cannabis have been used for years in the treatment of sickness that comes from people having chemotherapy so that's not new."

"There is a system in place, the system doesn't always work, as we've seen in this recent example "

Hart explained why he wouldn't want to see any further law change: "We need to be careful here – a medical use argument can easily lead to legalisation and that exactly what's happened in Colorado in the United States where really cannabis is being sold just like tobacco or a can of coke really."

He claimed: "Use has shot through the roof, cannabis is far more addictive than tobacco, far more carcinogenic."

Hart argued that around 50 people every year are killed by someone high on cannabis driving a car and that the drug doesn't wear off in the same way that alcohol does the next day. 

He concluded: "We should not change the law, maybe you can't poison yourself with cannabis in the way that you can with other drugs but it does affect you, it's strongly linked to mental illness, it's strongly linked to schizophrenia and with mental health and I'm very glad that the Royal College of Psychologists have come out today pointing that fact out."

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