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A report from the Conservative Party’s Social Justice Policy Group lists no fewer than four hundred different scientific studies that point to the links between cannabis and various forms of mental illness and destructive behaviour.  According to a report in The Daily Mail the report highlights the fact that "heavy cannabis users make up the vast majority of new patients with a serious mental illness… Eight out of ten of those experiencing the first episode of psychiatric disorder, schizophrenia or similar mental breakdowns are habitual users of the drug."

Drugs is one of five main themes of the Tory social justice review.  Other themes include family structure, employment, education and debt.  The review aims to find ways of helping vulnerable people succeed in each of these five areas of life.  This behavioural approach to poverty-fighting is inspired by William Galston’s famous observation that only 8% of Americans who finish high school, marry before having a child, and marry after the age of 20 are poor. In contrast, 79% of those who fail to do these things are poor.

Added to the five themes is David Cameron’s commitment to build the nation of the second chance:

"But we all know that however much we do to help people forge paths out of poverty, some will be left behind.  We must never say to those people – "You’ve had your chance and you must live with the wrong choices you made".  I want to build a nation that never writes any one off. A nation that says that it’s never ever too late to start again. Never too late to realise those dreams you once had."

Building ‘the nation of the second chance’ is the subject of a policy subgroup chaired by former Tory candidate Orlando Fraser.  The group is examining how to strengthen the voluntary sector’s innovative and independent character.

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