Mental Health Charity Urges Government Action Over Cannabis

Young people are not sufficiently aware of the dangers of smoking high-strength cannabis, the chief executive of mental health charity Rethink has said. Speaking on Channel 4 News, Paul Jenkins explained that the government needs to clarify the health dangers of cannabis smoking.

Mr Jenkins said that studies have proven that young people who regularly smoked cannabis were two or three times more likely to develop a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia than normal.

With a particular type of cannabis, skunk, being much stronger than other variants, Mr Jenkins said it raised some “really serious issues”. He added: “I think that it is quite right that the government should reconsider classification of cannabis and particularly skunk.

“What is probably more important is that there is a serious attempt to provide information particularly to young people about the risks.”

Rethink’s comments follow the recent 20-year prison sentence given to heavy cannabis smoker Thomas Palmer for stabbing to death two close friends.