Criminal Law

Part of Theft from Shops (Use of Penalty Notices for Disorder) – in the House of Commons at 5:01 pm on 11th March 2009.

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Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle Parliamentary Secretary (Government Equalities office) (also in the Ministry of Justice), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice 5:01 pm, 11th March 2009

I begin by trying to deal with some of the points made by Mr. Burrowes. We can agree across the House that cannabis use is harmful. Cannabis is an illegal drug and should not be taken. It needs to be tackled through a comprehensive package of measures as part of a drug strategy that includes prevention, education, early intervention, enforcement—which is what we are dealing with—and treatment when that is necessary.

We believe that cannabis can pose a real threat to health. It can produce both immediate and longer-term harm to physical and mental health. For that reason, enforcement of the fact that it is illegal is an important part of deterring its use and trying to ensure that we minimise the harm caused to and by those who use it.

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