Cannabis is to be reclassified to a class B drug because of its "increased strength", the home secretary has said.
Addressing MPs in the House of Commons, Jacqui Smith said there was "uncertainty at the least" about what effect the drug has on young people.
The reclassification goes against a report by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs – who said the drug should remain class C.
Cannabis was downgraded in 2004 by the then Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Responding to the decision, Shadow home secretary David Davis told MPs it proved that the original reclassification by Mr Blair was wrong.
The Conservatives have always been in favour of cannabis being a Class B drug.
The maximum penalty for possession of cannabis currently stands at two years. The decision means that figure will rise to five.
The reclassification is still subject to parliamentary approval.
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