Sir, The Royal College of Physicians, is backing a campaign by public health leaders to give priority to tackling the harm caused by drugs rather than reducing their use (“Doctors: stop treating drug addiction as a crime”, Apr 27). Tackling the harm caused by drugs is not possible if it happens to be permanent. Skunk-induced schizophrenia costs the country around £2 billion a year. Many patients end up in psychiatric institutions for life. Treating teenagers addicted to drugs, 90% of them to cannabis is also expensive with success not guaranteed. There can be no harm reduction for the increasing numbers of drug-using drivers killed, those who become depressed and commit suicide or the victims of violent users. Whatever happened to common sense? Prevention is the only strategy.
Dear sir, Re the Lib Dem plan to legalise cannabis 13/05/17. It’s ‘high’ time the Lib-Dems did their homework before they open their mouths. It’s difficult to believe that Dr Julian Huppert is a scientist – he lectures in physics at Clare College, Cambridge and specialises in the structure and function of DNA. He must read scientific research papers – has he read any of the thousands on cannabis? A recent Australian paper which links THC with chromothripsis (chromosome fragmentation) during cell division and cancers other than those caused by the smoke, should be compulsory reading. Numerous cannabis harms, documented in research papers are regularly reported in the press. Cannabis today is almost entirely skunk (High in psychoactive THC, Low in antipsychotic CBD) – much stronger than the cannabis of the 60s and 70s. Spice, by the way has nothing to do with cannabis, it’s a New Psychoactive Substance – a chemical. The only connection they have is occupying the same receptor sites in the brain. THC (fat-soluble) stays in the brain cells for weeks, depressing and slowing down ALL the chemical signalling and normal brain functioning. One joint pre week or even month will ensure its permanent presence and constant activity. Learning, concentration and memory all suffer, IQ points are lost, grades fall and many children drop out of education altogether. Psychosis has been linked with cannabis since 1845. He should know that skunk-induced schizophrenia costs this country around £2 billion/year. And that’s when it’s still illegal – how much more if it’s legalised? That would pay for an awful lot of doctors, nurses, teachers and policemen. There are problems with the respiratory, cardiac, reproductive and immune systems. And addiction (the hardest addiction to treat in adolescents) will occur in 1 in 6 children who start early. Treatment is very costly. Depression, violence, homicides (e.g. Lee Rigby) and suicides have also been reported. A look at Colorado where it is legal, provides some salutary lessons. Crime is flourishing. Usage among youth is the highest in America, emergency admissions to hospitals have soared, including very young children and toddlers consuming ‘edibles’, vehicle accidents have increased, and far from drug dealers disappearing, the black market is flourishing. Lastly – a question about medical marijuana for Dr Huppert: Would he be prepared to eat mouldy bread to get his penicillin, chew willow bark for aspirin or start smoking cigarettes to get his weight down (nicotine suppresses the appetite)? Our website (www.cannabisskunksense.co.uk) provides all the scientific information, articles and reports about cannabis needed to verify all these points. Maybe he would like to pay it a visit. Mary Brett, Chair Cannabis Skunk Sense (CanSS), 6, Pines Close, Amersham, Bucks HP6 5QW Tel: 01494 726958
"I destroy homes, tear families apart - take your children, and that's just the start. I'm more costly than diamonds, more costly than gold - the sorrow I bring is a sight to behold. And if you need me, remember I'm easily found. I live all around you, in schools and in town. I live with the rich, I live with the poor, I live down the street, and maybe next door. My power is awesome - try me you'll see. But if you do, you may never break free. Just try me once and I might let you go, But try me twice, and I'll own your soul. When I possess you, you'll steal and you'll lie. You'll do what you have to, just to get high. The crimes you'll commit, for my narcotic charms, Will be worth the pleasure you'll feel in your arms. You'll lie to your mother; you'll steal from your dad. When you see their tears, you should feel sad. But you'll forget your morals and how you were raised. I'll be your conscience, I'll teach you my ways. I take kids from parents, and parents from kids, I turn people from God, and separate from friends. I'll take everything from you, your looks and your pride, I'll be with you always, right by your side. You'll give up everything - your family, your home, Your friends, your money, then you'll be alone. I'll take and I'll take, till you have no more to give. When I'm finished with you you'll be lucky to live. If you try me be warned this is no game. If given the chance, I'll drive you insane. I'll ravish your body, I'll control your mind. I'll own you completely; your soul will be mine. The nightmares I'll give you while lying in bed. The voices you'll hear from inside your head. The sweats, the shakes, the visions you'll see. I want you to know, these are all gifts from me. But then it's too late, and you'll know in your heart, That you are mine, and we shall not part. You'll regret that you tried me, they always do. But you came to me, not I to you. You knew this would happen. Many times you were told, but you challenged my power, and chose to be bold. You could have said no, and just walked away. If you could live that day over, now what would you say? I'll be your master; you will be my slave. I'll even go with you, when you go to your grave. Now that you have met me, what will you do? Will you try me or not? Its all up to you. I can bring you more misery than words can tell. Come take my hand, let me lead you to hell." Signed DRUGS
Sir, The treatment for children with mental health problems was well covered in your reports. However guides and manifestos do not address the causes. More and more studies are showing links between cannabis and mental disorders.It would be useful to record in how many cases of mental illness in children cannabis was a factor. Nigel price, Lisvane Cardiff.
It’s brilliant. Beautifully produced easy to read and with a content that is of immeasurable value to society. It is an outstanding and considered presentation on the effects of this most treacherous and addictive drug....and where to find help. Congratulations and thank you..
Everyone does cannabis, so you think it’s safe - even safer than drinking they said. But it’s not. The change in my son in just a few months was terrible, but I didn't know what to do - he wouldn’t listen and became very violent...
Drugs: It’s just not worth it
Our 35-page book gives clear and easy to read facts and advice aimed at teenagers and young people.