By Ian Kirby & Philip Whiteside, News of the World
(UK), August 22, 2007
RELAXING laws against cannabis has
ended in disaster _ and caused an EXPLOSION in
hard drugs abuse.
That is the damning verdict of a secret dossier
compiled by Tony Blair's own No10 Strategy Unit.
Their confidential report, seen by the News of the
World, reveals how the government's decision to
decriminalise cannabis two years ago has enabled
dealers to wean a flood of new users on to deadly
drugs, such as crack cocaine and heroin.
It says: "The vast majority of local drug dealers
will use cannabis as an easy way of making money
and increasing their client base.
"They will seek to secure more hard drug clients
from among that base.
"Recent changes to the law have increased the
number of people taking cannabis. The amount of
hard-drug abuse has also increased. Although more
research is needed, it appears the two rises are
The report's findings were confirmed by News of
the World investigators, who discovered our
streets are riddled with cannabis dealers. It took
just MINUTES to buy the drug in five cities across
the country_and many pedlars were also pushing
When cannabis was downgraded to a Class C "soft"
drug, the government claimed there was no evidence
to suggest its use would encourage people to try
harder drugs. But the new report concludes that
almost all "high harm-causing drug users" (heroin
and crack addicts) began by smoking cannabis.
There are now estimated to be 3.5million regular
cannabis users in Britain_A FIFTH more than in
In public, the government insists that educating
the public about the dangers of the drug, instead
of punishing people for using it, is the only
But privately, the No10 Strategy Unit warn: "Far
more drugs are used now than in the past. The
supply market is highly sophisticated and attempts
to intervene have not resulted in sustainable
disruption to the market at any level."
The Downing Street team's cannabis findings are
part of a report on the overall drugs problem. It
reveals that it is now EASIER to buy hard drugs on
Britain's streets than ever before.
The report warns 260,000 heroin addicts spend £4
billion a year on the drug and cause £16 BILLION
of crime to fund their drug habits.
Shadow Home Secretary David Davis branded the
government's drugs policy was a "total disaster".
He added: "Many continue to think cannabis is a
safe, soft drug. They still wrongly think it is
"And many more young lives will be damaged by the
pernicious trade in this dangerous drug."