Pubdate: Tue, 26 Sep 2006
Source: Bucks Free Press (UK)
Copyright: 2006 Newsquest Media Group
Author: Steve Clements


THE Advisory Council On The Misuse Of Drugs concluded there had
been no significant increase in strength of cannabis in the past ten

A similar report by the EU also concluded that cannabis today was no
stronger than 30 years ago.

In view of these facts, would it be possible to know where drug
liaison officer PC Louise Taylor (Drugs and kids shock, The Press,
September 22) gets her information that "skunk is stronger these
days", other than from the pages of the tabloid press?

Tony Towers, of Compass, says "cannabis is not a harmless drug". Well,
few things in life are harmless and, as he points out, a criminal
record can ruin a young life. That is extremely harmful, but it isn't
cannabis doing that harm, it's the law.

Research on cannabis and the long-term mental health of those
vulnerable is in no way conclusive about the possible link. But if
these harms do exist, is putting people through the criminal justice
system the right way to deal with it? Surely these are health
problems, not criminal issues?

Arrest, imprisonment, appearance in court, could also be very harmful
to a vulnerable person's mental health, and our society should be
ashamed about approaching these issues in this heavy-handed manner,
especially with children, for God's sake.

The significant majority of people who use cannabis come to no harm.
This needs to be kept in perspective.

Steve Clements, The Legalise Cannabis Alliance, Asquith Avenue, York.
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