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British Cannabis Use Drops

British Cannabis Use Drops Following Reclassification

British cannabis use has declined sharply in the three years following the government’s decision to make possession to a non-arrestable offence, according to the latest figures from the UK Home Office’s annual Crime Survey.
"With cannabis in the headlines here again, it's important to acknowledge that moving away from prohibition is not associated with an increase in use," said NORML's spokesperson Chris Fowlie.
"Supporters of the current law often claim cannabis use would skyrocket under any other policy, yet their dire predictions have not come true. Instead of an increase, Britain has seen a significant decrease in cannabis use.
"Making cannabis a non-arrestable offence has greatly freed up police time and resources, while also removing the 'forbidden fruit' syndrome than can make cannabis attractive to many youth."
The Home Office statistics show that cannabis use by young people age 16 to 24 has fallen approximately 20 percent since 2004. Overall, 21 percent of young people admit having tried cannabis, with eight percent of young people saying that they’ve used it in the past month.
By contrast, more than 80 per cent of New Zealand 21-year-olds have used cannabis, according to the Christchurch Health and Development Study.
"New Zealand has the highest recorded rate of cannabis use in the world. A far smaller percentage of young people use cannabis in the United Kingdom than in New Zealand – despite Britain’s enactment of far more liberal cannabis laws," said Mr Fowlie.
Among all age groups, only ten percent of the population said that they had used any illicit drug over the past year – the lowest percentage ever recorded by the UK Crime Survey.
Under reclassification, police have the discretion to warn – rather than arrest – adults found with small amounts of cannabis. Since the enactment of the policy, police seizures of cannabis have increased, though the total number of people arrested for cannabis has fallen.
For more information, see:
Marijuana Decriminalisation & It's Impact on Use
UK Home Office Crime Survey
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