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CAMHS won't see you now

Leading GPs call for cannabis rethink

By Nigel Praities

The Government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs is to begin its review of the classification of cannabis, with a day-long conference in London.

The council will look at the evidence whether cannabis should be reclassified as a Class B drug, after concern has been raised over stronger strains of the drug, known as skunk, on mental health.

Dr Clare Gerada, a GP in South-East London and one of two GPs on the group , said that doctors were having to cope with an influx of patients presenting with the psychological and physical effects of cannabis use.

‘Some say it is decreasing, but I find that very difficult to square with my own clinical practice,' she said.

Dr Gerada appeared on BBC2 documentary programme Horizon this week, joining other doctors in calling for a rethink of attitudes to drugs.

She backed other medical experts on the programme who argued that drugs such as cannabis and alcohol, were far more deadly than esctasy, which is classified as Class A.

Dr John Hague, a GPSI in mental health in Ipswich, said his personal view was that cannabis should be reclassified.

‘There is evidence that smoking cannabis increases the risk of psychosis by between 1.4 and 2 times that of non users. Physically there is evidence of an increased risk of respiratory infections and cancers,' he said.

A Home Office spokesperson said the review would be completed in April 2008.

Dr Clare Gerada: cannabis far more dangerous than ecstasy Dr Clare Gerada: cannabis far more dangerous than ecstasy

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