A poll has found children in the UK to have better access to cannabis than alcoholic drinks, with 44 percent of respondents aged between 16 and 17 who have used cannabis saying it is easy to obtain.
Meanwhile, only 22 percent of surveyed alcohol drinkers of the same age range said they can buy alcohol without difficulty.
Drugs policy thinktank Volteface, which commissioned the survey carried out by Survation, warned that children are being “exploited” by adults in the drug trade, with prosecutions for drug-related offences rising for teenagers from 2012 to 2017 while falling for adults.
“Dealing cannabis as a young person be considered a potential indicator of vulnerability, rather than criminality, and should be treated as a safeguarding concern, much like in instances of child sexual exploitation,” Volteface said, in its report accompanying the poll’s findings.
Meanwhile, former Lib Dems Health Minister Norman Lamb claimed British children are “paying the price for the UK’s outdated” policy on drugs, accusing the government of “directly” putting children at risk.