The government has ruled out a change in drugs policy despite a report by an influential group of MPs.
While the government said it is 'open to new ideas' it has also ruled out any prospect of following the lead of several US states in decriminalising cannabis. It has also said it will not be calling a Royal Commission to examine the country's drugs policy. Chris Ship reports.
David Cameron was urged by MPs to start a wide-ranging public debate on drug policy. Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee, said a Royal Commission is needed to explore all the issues around drugs.
He called for testing in prisons, measures to tackle legal highs and a look at how drugs money flows through our banking system.
He said: "In prisons we believe there should be compulsory testing, on arrival and on exit, and random testing during a prison sentence."
Home Office minister Jeremy Browne said the worst cannabis is now about six or seven times stronger than it was a generation ago.
He said: "It's like somebody going from drinking a pint of beer to drinking a pint of neat vodka."
He added that despite falls in heroin use, he was concerned about new threats.
Mr Browne said: "Some of these legal highs can be very dangerous for people's health and of course the situations is mutating the whole time. All of these chemical compounds, these synthetic drugs, are being manipulated."