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Cannabis reclassified in UK

Cannabis use figures have decreased considerably, yet the UK government will return to treating cannabis use in a more harsh manner. According to the North West Evening Mail January 27, 2009 article, ("Cannabis Reclassified As Class B Drug") "The government has reclassified cannabis, the UK's most commonly used drug, from Class C up to Class B. Cannabis was downgraded to Class C in 2004 because ministers wanted to free up police time and allow officers to concentrate on tackling harder drugs. In switching it back to Class B, the government has gone against its own expert drug advice body experts the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs which recommended keeping cannabis at Class C."

The article notes, "The government's decision has been taken because skunk, a much stronger version of the drug, now accounts for 80 per cent of the cannabis available on the streets, compared to just 30 per cent seven years ago. The government says it will now raise its efforts to clamp down on cannabis dealers and users, shut down cannabis farms and arrest the organised criminals who run them. A key part of that plan is the decision to raise the maximum penalty for possessing cannabis from two years in prison to five years. But,as part of the same plan, the government has invited police officers to issue on-the-spot fines to first-time cannabis offenders."

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