Call for fresh focus on impact of cannabis

Scottish Conservatives are today calling for a renewed focus from all levels of government on the damaging impact of cannabis on the young.

It comes as health campaigners warn today that high-strength cannabis can lead to psychosis among teenagers.

Last week, the High Court in Glasgow heard how the killer of Alesha MacPhail, Aaron Campbell, regularly smoked the drug.

In today’s press, Sir Robin Murray, professor of psychiatric research at King’s College London, warned that there was now growing evidence that the use of cannabis in adolescence increased the risk of psychosis.

Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Miles Briggs MSP said:

“We know that the number of people reporting an addiction to cannabis has risen from 14% to 20% in the space of a decade.

“And we are now learning more and more of the damage that extra-strength street cannabis can cause, especially to adolescents.

“Given all that, it’s clear we need a fresh focus from government at all levels to stop this menace in its tracks.

“The Scottish Conservatives last year set out plans to crack down on Scotland’s drug crisis. There’s a chance for all parties to work together here to tackle this problem at source.

“A clear message needs to go out, especially to young people, that cannabis is a dangerous drug that risks permanently damaging their mental health. We must also do more to ensure that people on cannabis get the support they need to come off it.

“The terrible details emerging from Alesha MacPhail’s death have put the spotlight on this drug. Before the spotlight moves away, we should be working together to crack down on it.

“Scottish Conservatives are determined to see real action from SNP ministers to help young people address addictions and support their families, who often are left to pick up the pieces.

“Timid refreshing of failed SNP policies is simply not good enough. It’s time for a radical new approach to help address drug addictions in Scotland.”