Election 2015 Northern Ireland

Election 2015: Cista calls for Royal Commission to review UK drug laws

Paul Birch Image copyright PA
Image caption Paul Birch of Cista said he believed medical cannabis was one of the victims of the war on drugs

The Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol party (Cista) has called for a Royal Commission to review current UK drug laws.

The party launched its Northern Ireland manifesto in Belfast on Tuesday.

It claims vulnerable people are missing out on medical treatment due to the refusal of governments to treat cannabis the same way as alcohol.

The party aims to achieve the decriminalisation of cannabis and the establishment of a regulated industry.

It was founded earlier this year by Paul Birch, the co-founder of social networking site Bebo, and is fielding four candidates in Northern Ireland.

Mr Birch said he accepted Cista was a "single issue party".

He said he believed there was no debate on whether cannabis was safer than alcohol.

Mr Birch said successive governments had pursued a "pointless" drugs policy that "doesn't do anyone any good".

"It's just a waste of police money and time and we are flushing tax revenue away," he said.

"Medical cannabis is one of the victims of the war on drugs - that's why medical cannabis is not available in the UK."