Cannabis should be legalised in Britain and all other personal drug use decriminalised, delegates voted on Sunday by an overwhelming margin.
They called for the creation of a panel to review the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act so that “possession of any controlled drug for personal use would not be a criminal offence”.
The motion said those caught with hard drugs should be dispatched to a panel of social workers.
It also paved the way for the British government to set up “a strictly controlled and regulated cannabis market” - effectively legalising the drug.
Ewan Hoyle, from South Glasgow, proposed the policy and told the conference that politicians had not tackled the issue because of “cowardice”.
He said: “The motion calls for models of cannabis regulation to be investigated. I personally favour sale from pharmacies.”
George Miles, a delegate sporting a green T-shirt emblazoned with the image of a cannabis leaf, declared: “John Lennon and Eric Clapton didn’t say legalise heroin or cocaine, but Bob Marley says legalise cannabis.”
The plans immediately become binding Liberal Democrat policy, though they will not be enacted by the government because they are not in the coalition agreement.
The proposals will be opposed not just by the Tories but also by the Labour Party, which got into a huge mess over the classification of cannabis.
When the Blair government reduced it to a Class C drug, evidence from scientists about its psychotic properties caused a U-turn.
Tory MP Charles Walker said the Lib Dem motion “sends out the message that taking drugs is okay but it is not”.
He added: “If the Liberal Democrats think taking heroin, cocaine and smoking skunk is OK then that is up to them but the government and I think most people in Britain do not agree with them.” - Daily Mail