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Drugs debate urged by MPs

David Cameron will today be urged by MPs to start a wide-ranging public debate on drug policy - including the possibility of legalisation.

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Statistics on drug misuse

  • In 2011/12 an estimated one in three adults in England and Wales (36.5%) had ever taken an illicit drug in their lifetime (around 12 million people).
  • In 2011/12 an estimated 37.7% young adults have ever taken an illicit drug (around 2.5 million people).
  • The long term trend in Class A drug use in the last year shows no statistically significant difference between 1996 (2.7%) and 2011/12 (3.0%).
  • As in previous years cannabis was the most commonly used type of drug in the last year.
  • In 2011/12 6.9% of 16-59 years had used cannabis in the last year followed by powder cocaine (2.2%) and ecstasy (1.4%).
  • In 2009/10 it was estimated that there were 306,150 opiate and/or crack users in England. This corresponds to 8.93 per thousand of the population aged 15-64.

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