Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today called for a “regulated cannabis market” after it was revealed over 60% of drug possession crimes involved cannabis in 2016-17.
The figures, obtained from the Drug Seizures and Offender Characteristics 2016-2017 report published today, also revealed herbal cannabis is the most commonly seized drug by a considerable margin, with cannabis resin the second most commonly seized drug.
At the 2017 General Election last year, the Liberal Democrats revealed ground-breaking plans to introduce a "regulated market" to control the pricing, potency and packaging of cannabis sales to over-18s.
Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
“These new figures show that when it comes to drug related crime, police time is dominated by cannabis. Despite this, cannabis is freely available and widely used.
“The ”war on drugs” just simply isn’t working. It is costing millions and filling the pockets of criminal gangs. That is why Liberal Democrats believe in introducing a regulated cannabis market in UK, with robust and responsible licensing, as opposed to an unregulated criminal market. This will improve public health and protect communities.
“Of course, those dealing drugs illegally should continue to face tough criminal sanctions. But our proposals would free up the police to deal with organised crime groups and would ensure we can better manage and minimise the health risks associated with cannabis use.
“This is an approach backed by medical and scientific evidence, which builds on the experiences of other countries. It’s high time the UK and Scottish Governments took this seriously.”