23 May, 2002 LONDON (Reuters) - One of the country's most senior law lords has lashed out at the government's "stupid" approach to cannabis, calling for the drug to be legalised. Weighing in to a hot debate about whether drug laws should be eased, Lord Bingham, the most senior law lord in England's highest court, criticised the government for its blanket rejection of all calls for legalisation. "It is stupid having a law which isn't doing what it is there for," Bingham told the Spectator weekly magazine. Asked if he would legalise cannabis, he said: "Absolutely". An influential group of parliamentarians urged the government this week to face reality and relax rules governing the use of cannabis. In a radical report, parliament's home affairs committee backed a more liberal line which would deal with the fact that Britain is a nation of heavy users -- with around five million people using cannabis regularly. But even the committee stopped short of saying cannabis should be legalised. Bingham, however, pointed to a two year-long independent inquiry by the Police Foundation which concluded in 2000 that the police wasted too much time trying to clamp down on soft drugs. The inquiry produced the "Runciman report", which advocated legalising cannabis, making possession a civil -- not a criminal -- offence. "When the Runciman report came out (and said) legalise...it was 100 percent rejected by the Home Office," Bingham said. Drugs campaigners say there is no long-term evidence to show more people are likely to use the drug if it is made legal. A report published late last year said cannabis was the most commonly used illicit drug in the European Union, with at least one in 10 adults in the 15-nation group having tried it. The report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) said the proportion of adults who had used cannabis ranged from 10 percent in Finland to 20-25 percent in Denmark, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain and Britain.