03 Jun Another Judge Displays Ignorance, Prejudice And Dispenses Misleading Advice On Cannabis

Mr Recorder Mark McKone

Mr Recorder Mark McKone

“Many people think of cannabis as a mild drug. Most people are tempted to say that it has no effect upon health.

I have spent 25 years involved in the criminal courts, and I have seen a vast number of people whose mental health has been very badly affected by long-term cannabis use.

I really urge you not to use cannabis as a substitute for alcohol, very soon that will affect your mental health.”

Source: Sunderland Echo

news/crime/sunderland-ex-soldier-grew-cannabis-to-help-him-keep-off-the-booze-1-6651638″ target=”_blank”>Mr Recorder McKone is, of course, a million miles away from the scientific and medical evidence.

>For a man trained in the assessment of evidence why is he engaging in such misleading and irresponsible behaviour?

The most that the evidence shows is that cannabis may be a component factor in a very small number of mental health cases whereas alcohol is clearly proven to be a direct cause of psychosis.

Last year, in England and Wales, 1003 people were admitted to hospital for “mental and behavioural problems relating to cannabinoids”. Over 47,000 people were admitted for “mental and behavioural problems relating to alcohol.” (Source: Hospital Episode Statistics)

Of course, many more people use alcohol than use cannabis. There are three million regular uses of cannabis (Source: TUKCM, Atha et al 2011) and 30 million regular users of alcohol (Source: NHS Information Centre 2009. So, even after adjusting for this, anyone in England and Wales is SIX TIMES more likely to be admitted to hospital for mental health problems related to alcohol than to cannabinoids.

The very latest study published in Schizophrenia Research only three weeks ago shows that cannabis use does not predict psychosis whereas alcohol use does.

Even more significant is the emerging evidence that not only can cannabis protect against alcohol-induced brain damage, it can even reverse the effects of this most damaging drug of all.

How wrong can you be Mr Recorder McKone?

References

Causal association between cannabis and psychosis: examination of the evidence, Arseneault et al 2004

Alcohol-induced psychotic disorder and delirium in the general population, Perala et al 2010

Alcohol related psychosis, Yang et al 2013 Alcohol-induced psychotic disorder, Jordaan et al 2009

White matter integrity in adolescents with histories of marijuana use and binge drinking, Jacobus et al 2009

Cannabidiol attenuates binge alcohol-induced neurodegeneration, Liput et al 2013

Cannabinoids promote embryonic and adult hippocampus neurogenesis and produce anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects, Jiang et al 2005

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