Cannabis pandemic blamed on soft UK drug policy
Mr Costa, an Italian economist with long experience of working for the UN and other international bodies,, said: 'The harmful characteristics of cannabis are no longer that different from those of other plant-based drugs such as cocaine and heroin.
This implies that cannabis used to be that different, but no longer is. The article is fairly opaque as to what changed, but mentions:
Less than 15 months later Mr Blunkett's successor Charles Clarke called on Government advisors for a rethink because of growing evidence of links between cannabis and mental illness, and because of the increasing availability of very powerful strains of the drug.
What gets me is
The UN criticism appears to reflect frustration that the Government is swayed by arguments that say using cannabis is a matter of minor importance and that the drug is far less harmful than, for example, alcohol.
The UN did not mention alcohol at all, which is politically interesting given it is one of the most widely used drugs. The Mail brought it up here, I suppose in a preemptive attack against the inevitable comparisons people make between illegal and legal drugs, but I'm not sure they really help themselves.
The idea of a cannabis pandemic is amusing. I think this pandemic has been happening for that last 4,000 years and shows no signs of stopping.