KIDS as young as 11 are being arrested for selling cannabis as drug dealers are using them as “child mules”.
More under-18s are being prosecuted for selling the drugs as the number of adult dealers being taken to court is falling.
The Times asked police forces for the ages of children that had been arrested or cautioned for possessing cannabis with intent to supply in the last six years.
Hampshire said it had taken action against an 11-year-old and two 12-year-olds, and Avon and Somerset had dealt with an 11-year-old.
Furthermore, West Midlands and South Wales both arrested three 12-year-olds.
In a separate report published by a drugs think tank, it shows that the prosecutions of under-18s for possession with intent to supply increased by 5.5 per cent over five years.
Furthermore, in the same report by Volteface it shows that the number of over-18s prosecuted fell by 22 per cent.
Volteface said this could “indicate that more young people are being exploited by adults to deal cannabis on their behalf”.
The report recognises that adults are the most likely suppliers of cannabis to young people because they have the money and ability to grow large amounts themselves.
However, they are increasingly evading being caught by police whereas young people are more visible “congregating on the streets or dealing cannabis on their bikes”.
It adds: “More adults are getting away with dealing cannabis, while young people are increasingly being criminalised for it”.
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For teenagers, selling cannabis is “a viable option to make money and obtain status among their peers”.
A national Survation poll of young people aged 16 or 17 shows that cannabis was more accessible to school-aged children than alcohol.
The poll was commissioned by Volteface and found that more than two fifths of young cannabis users said it was easy to get the drug.
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