Intended for healthcare professionals


Psychiatrists cancel cannabis debate after no one would argue for criminalising users

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 25 January 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l417
  1. Richard Hurley
  1. The BMJ

A debate on whether criminalising people who use cannabis protects against mental ill health did not take place because no one agreed to argue that current UK law protects the health of people who take the drug.

Instead, only David Nutt, professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London, spoke on 23 January at the Royal College of Psychiatrists in London.

The motion to have been debated was: “Decriminalising cannabis use will lead to higher rates of mental illness.”

Wendy Burn, the college’s president, told The BMJ, “The concern, for psychiatrists, is the link between cannabis and mental illness. Later this year, the college will be thoroughly reviewing the evidence on the effects of cannabis use on mental …

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