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Unite criticise reported decision for cannabis to remain class C

Unite criticise reported decision for cannabis to remain class C

Unite and the Mental Health Nurses Association (MHNA) has heavily criticised the reported decision to keep cannabis on the class C drug list.

The government asked the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to review cannabis's legal status amid concerns over it becoming available in stronger forms.

It is reported that they wish cannabis to remain a class C drug, but when questioned the council have refused to confirm or deny this decision.

Unite/MHNA say they would like cannabis reclassified as a class B drug in a stance similar to that adopted by Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Unite/MHNA Chair Andy Lauder said: "There are now much stronger strains of cannabis, such as skunk, entering the UK in response to so-called market forces.

"We utterly reject the reported recommendation from the advisory council that cannabis should remain a class C drug.

"It has been proved time and time again by well-respected medical studies that there are strong links between significant cannabis use and those suffering from mental health problems, or have a disposition to mental illness."

Council Chairman Michael Rawkins said a report on cannabis classification will be sent to the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, later this month.

CPHVA


Do you think cannabis should become a class B drug? Do you agree with Unite/MHNA's stance on cannabis classification?

Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"I smoked for 12 year solid with no ill efects, I think pot should be legalised." - Shayne Brookes, Australia

"So is this UNITE's formal policy, or just the ravings of some opinionated individual? Sorry, but the statement flies in the face of the evidence and seems to reflect someone's personal agenda. After all, if reports of a FALL in the rates of schizophrenia are true, the 'cannabis causes mental illness' claims are dead in the water. In any case, how does keeping what may still be a potentially dangerous substance in the hands of an unregulated mafia actually protect people? How does treating the people you claim to be concerned about as criminals help protect them? True reefer madness." - Derek, Norwich

"Oh well, looks like I'm gonna have to cancel my union membership." - Robert McFarlane, Glasgow

"No it shouldn't, silly question, but more relevant is the question of Andy Lauder's statement in the face of scientific evidence. Is he really so well qualified that he can gainsay a professor with a PhD? Silly man. Stay out of politics Andy, you're a liability." - Mary James, Reading, Berkshire

"What happens when a substance is in the hands of criminals? Stronger types become available, kids can get hold of it, it becomes a gateway to any other illegal substances the dealer may have. The worst effects have been caused by prohibition itself and this move back to class B is only going to make it worse. Just look at the upsurge of large indoor grows in the UK run by criminal gangs employing illegal immigrants to run the operation, that didnt exist before but these crinimal gangs have realised how much money there is to be made now. Dealers don't put labels on their products informing the consumer of the strength, and they don't ask for ID.
Would you suggest alcohol is made a class A drug? No? Well it follows that most drugs need to be decriminalised to be honest and logical. It can only help in protecting the vunerable." - C Harvey, Devon

"At the ACMD meeting, the 23 medical and drug experts heard a personal presentation on the possible mental health impacts of higher potency cannabis from psychologist Dr Martin Frisher, of Keele University pharmacy  school. The presentation used unpublished data from a confidential report he has drawn up for the Home Office.
He and his colleague Professor Illana Crome, of Keele's academic psychiatry unit, used data from 183 GP practices across Britain between 1996 and 2005 to work out whether schizophrenia is on the rise, and  whether it can be linked to the increase in cannabis use since the 1970s.
Their confidential paper found that between 1996 and 2005 there had been  significant reductions in the incidence and prevalence of schizophrenia. From 2000 onwards there were also significant reductions in the prevalence  of psychoses.
The authors say this data is 'not consistent with the hypothesis that increasing cannabis use in earlier decades is associated with increasing schizophrenia or psychoses from the mid-1990s onwards.'
The research was designed to test the predictions of a previous study, published last year by Dr Matthew Hickman and colleagues at Bristol University, which suggested that changes in cannabis use since the 1970s would lead to expectations that the prevalence of schizophrenia cases would increase by 10% to 20% over the next few years. The results show that not only has there been no increase but the number of new cases has  dropped.
Scientists stress that the vexed question of whether cannabis causes schizophrenia remains unclear. They currently think that 8% to 10% of patients who suffer schizophrenia-like illnesses would not have had the condition had they not used cannabis." - Penny, Oxford

"Are you amateurs unaware of any real research? 'Their confidential paper found that between 1996 and 2005 there had been significant reductions in the incidence and prevalence of schizophrenia. From 2000 onwards there were also significant reductions in the prevalence of psychoses. The authors say this data is 'not consistent with the hypothesis that increasing cannabis use in earlier decades is associated with increasing schizophrenia or psychoses from the mid-1990s onwards.'' (Source http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/apr/04/drugsandalcohol.justice)
Please stop treating the Daily Mail as if it is serious research - you are hindering the public's perception of nurses as more than foolish wannabe doctors. You owe your patients more care and thought than this." - Iain Mulady, Tunbridge Wells

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