In a new report, the UK's Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) claims that legalizing recreational marijuana would plunge the country into a "nightmare" in which hundreds of thousands of residents would become addicted to cannabis.
"Advocates of cannabis legalization or decriminalization should think through the implications of their views," the report said. "They would open the floodgates to hundreds of thousands of new users, many of whom will be young and vulnerable, and so more prone to damaging physical and mental damage."
The CSJ report had nothing good to say about the prospect of wider cannabis reforms following the nation's recent decision to legalize medical marijuana. Using data from a YouGov polling and WHO stats, the CSJ claims that recreational cannabis legalization in the UK would see 100,000 people become addicted to the substance.
"Managing a cannabis free-for-all would also prove a nightmare in which the drug would become even more widely available and young children would be sucked into the mayhem," the report said.
The CSJ brushed aside the benefits of legalization that are often touted by marijuana advocates, such as establishing a well-regulated market that can test products to ensure they are safe for consumers. Instead, the report predicted that legalization will only lead to more widespread use of cannabis and, as a result, higher rates of psychosis. The CSJ made that claim even though the connection between cannabis and psychosis has been increasingly invalidated by recent research.
The report also argues that a regulated market does not prevent illicit trade. It says that in US states where cannabis has been legalized the black market doesn't disappear but adapts to survive.
"The existing law does mitigate the risk that cannabis poses," the report said of prohibition. "Although there has been a slight uplift in recent years, cannabis consumption has been falling for nearly 20 years in the UK."
Despite these claims, the DEA's own statistics suggest black market cannabis sales are falling in the US.
H/T: The Telegraph