Incorporation of advice into policy Cannabis

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16. Changes in drug policy, especially classification decisions, must be accompanied by a comprehensive information campaign. We recognise that the Government did undertake a campaign when the reclassification of cannabis came into effect but in view of the subsequent confusion, which was publicly acknowledged by the Home Secretary, we can only conclude that these efforts were insufficient. (Paragraph 46)

17. We recognise that the Home Secretary followed due process in asking the ACMD to review the classification of cannabis in response to concerns about the link between cannabis use and mental illness and perceptions that cannabis was becoming more potent. However, the timing of the second review against a backdrop of intense media hype and so soon after the change in cannabis classification had come into effect gave the impression that a media outcry was sufficient to trigger a review. (Paragraph 47)

18. Having already caused confusion by failing to adequately communicate the implications of the reclassification of cannabis to the public, the Government must be careful that any additional changes to policy relating to cannabis do not further cloud the picture. (Paragraph 50)

19. We have found no conclusive evidence to support the gateway theory. (Paragraph 53)

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