Fifty out of the 51 youth courts in England and Wales have written to Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, asking her to tighten the laws regarding the drug.
Cannabis had been downgraded to a class C drug in 2004 by the then home secretary, David Blunkett, meaning dealing the drug or possessing it carried less severe penalties.
However, since then youth offending teams (YOTs) claim they have seen cannabis use soar among young offenders.
Meanwhile in The Independent on Sunday:
Cannabis use among Britain’s young offenders is “out of control”, up by 75 per cent in some areas and fuelling a crime epidemic, with youngsters stealing to fund their addictions, according to two studies.
A national survey of Youth Offending Teams indicates that two-thirds of them have seen an increase in cannabis use of between 25 per cent and 75 per cent since David Blunkett, the then Home Secretary, downgraded the drug to class C in 2004. Some 90 per cent of all young offenders are using cannabis in some areas, a far greater proportion than the general youth population.
Research carried out by King’s College London has indicated that 25 per cent of young offenders in Sheffield have turned to crime to fund their habit. This contrasts with previous government research which said that “cannabis use was unlikely to motivate crime”.
The same story is also in The Daily Mail.