Liberal Democrats would take back control from criminal gangs, take 'skunk' off the streets, and protect young people by introducing a legal, regulated market for cannabis.
The Lib Dems have unveiled a manifesto commitment to bring the sale of cannabis under a system of strict legal regulation.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Cambridge and former Home Affairs Select Committee member Julian Huppert said:
"Cannabis is freely available and widely used. It generates significant health problems and vast profits for organised crime.
"The current approach is a disaster for young people, whose mental and physical health is being harmed by an increasingly potent product. There are no age checks, and no controls on quality or strength. 'Skunk' is widespread and the only ID you need to buy it is a £20 note.
"Successive governments have ceded total control of a significant public health problem to organised crime.
"The honest and pragmatic response is to take responsibility for this situation and regulate the market.
"Liberal Democrats will take back control from the criminal gangs and protect young people by introducing a legal, regulated market for cannabis.
"We will restrict the market to over-18s. We will make cannabis safer by limiting THC content and requiring all products to contain CBD, which has been bred out of 'skunk' and counteracts the harmful effects of THC. And we will invest tax revenues of up to £1bn in education and treatment."
The manifesto policy says: "[We will] break the grip of the criminal gangs and protect young people by introducing a legal, regulated market for cannabis. We would introduce limits on potency and permit cannabis to be sold through licensed outlets to adults over the age of 18."