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Cannabis Skeptics Persist

It’s curious how touchy some people get when you point out the possible ill effects of cannabis. Nevertheless, cannabis skeptics persist!

Clare Foges had an excellent piece in the Times of London yesterday. She writes:

Ask those working in the criminal justice system, too, if cannabis is a soft drug. A website called “Attacker Smoked Cannabis” keeps a record of savage crimes committed by users, and it is updated with alarming regularity. Recent cases include the Gateshead teenager who was so paranoid that another woman was laughing at her that she bit a chunk of her ear off; the knifeman who went on a stabbing rampage in Birmingham killing one man and injuring seven others; and a man who stabbed a university lecturer in a random attack, then was bailed only to stab someone else. All were under the influence of gentle old pot when they transformed into demons.

Sir Robin Murray, a leading psychiatrist and professor of psychiatric research at King’s College London, responded to her article in a supportive letter to the editor, noting that “one third of young people who develop schizophrenia-like psychosis in London do so because of their heavy use of high-potency cannabis (skunk).” And yet, Murray adds,

 . . . although we regard [British] “skunk” as high potency, it has an average concentration of only about 15 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. However, cannabis products with 60 to 80 percent THC are now commonly available in US states such as Colorado. Everywhere that cannabis has been legalized, the use and potency of the drug have increased, and more cannabis-induced disorders have followed. Most worryingly, tobacco companies that have experienced falls in the sales of cigarettes are now buying into cannabis companies with the aim of selling as much cannabis as they once sold tobacco. [Emphasis added.]

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