My right hon. Friend poses an interesting question, which I have considered. Given the information that I have read about long-term drug takers, I cannot believe that any independent commission that knew the facts would not recommend reclassifying cannabis to class B. I would be staggered if an independent commission decided that cannabis is not that harmful and it would not need to be loaded to recommend reclassification to class B.
The Government sent out all the wrong signals when they reclassified cannabis, because they basically said that it is not as harmful as many other drugs. Cannabis is comprised of more than 400 chemicals and contains more tar and a higher concentration of carcinogens than tobacco. Not only can it cause cancer, but it can disrupt the control of blood pressure, which increases the risk of fainting. Even occasional use is bad for people with heart and circulation disorders and for those predisposed to schizophrenia.
"We have growing evidence from our 1,000 callers a week that the current culture of taking cannabis makes treatment difficult and adversely affects the prognosis for those who become psychotic."
In January this year, she said:
"While an inquiry would have been welcomed before the lowering of the classification last year—making it more easily available and giving out messages that it is relatively harmless—we would urge the Government to reverse its decision on classification urgently, backing that with a multi-million pound education and awareness campaign on the dangers of cannabis for young people whose brains are developing."
When the Minister replies, I hope that she will say whether the Government intend to introduce a programme advertising the bad effects of cannabis.