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RCGP wants new debate on cannabis

The RCGP has called for a national debate on the health risks of cannabis.

The call came as the drug was reclassified from a class B to a class C drug last week.

Dr Clare Gerada, the college's drugs spokesperson, said health issues had so far been obscured by a 'smokescreen' of legal arguments surrounding the drug.

It was time to assess the mental and physical effects of the stronger varieties of cannabis now available, she added.

'It is hardly surprising that cannabis has health risks. It contains over 400 chemicals including 60 or so carcinogens and is a markedly stronger drug than it was 20-30 years ago.

'A ''reefer'' in the 1980s contained about 10mg of

9-tetrahydrocannabinol, but a ''joint'' today may contain 300mg,' Dr Gerada said.

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