Policymakers should consider allowing the licensed sale of cannabis for recreational use, says one of the UK’s leading researchers of the drug.
Professor Roger Pertwee is to make the call in a speech at the British Science Association festival in Birmingham.
He is expected to say radical solutions have to be considered because he believes the current policy of criminalising cannabis is ineffective.
But the government insists decriminalisation would not work.
The dismissal last year of Professor David Nutt as the previous government’s leading drugs adviser showed it was in no mood to consider relaxing the status of cannabis as an illegal class B drug.
It is a view shared by the current government, but Prof Pertwee, an expert on cannabis-like chemicals, is to tell scientists that he, like Professor Nutt, believes it is a policy that is doing more harm than good
“I’m talking about harm minimisation,” he told BBC News.