Tens of thousands of people are ending up in hospital with cannabis-related health problems, official figures have revealed.
There were 27,501 admissions linked to cannabis in England in 2016/17, a 15 per cent rise in just two years from 23,866 in 2014/15.
Labour MP Jeff Smith, who requested the figures on cannabis-related hospitalisations, said the large increase was ‘a concern’.
The influential medical journal The Lancet has just taken the unprecedented step of branding cannabis a ‘huge risk to health’.
Mr Smith, an ex-DJ who has admitted taking drugs, said: ‘It could be that the rise in hospital admissions is associated with rises in particular types of cannabis being used – street cannabis now tends to be more “skunk”.’
Tens of thousands of people are ending up in hospital with cannabis-related health problems, official figures have revealed. (File photo)
‘Skunk’ has a high concentration of the main psychoactive compound THC, which is strongly linked to increased risk of psychosis.
A recent study based on drugs seized by police found that 94 per cent of cannabis now sold on UK streets is ‘skunk’. Academics say this super-strength cannabis could be behind the rise in mental health problems linked to the drug.
Now The Lancet has warned in a hard-hitting editorial that with the ‘increasing liberalisation of laws’, users need to be made ‘aware of risks to their health and wellbeing.
The journal was reflecting on results from the 2018 Global Drug Survey, which asked 130,000 people in 44 nations about their use of drugs. The Lancet said: ‘Globally, cannabis is still the top illicit drug used and, with the concurrent use of tobacco, remains a huge health risk.’
Its position is in marked contrast to 1995 when it stated: ‘The smoking of cannabis, even long-term, is not harmful to health.’
Mr Smith claimed: ‘Legalisation and regulation is a better way of reducing harm than leaving the trade in the hands of criminals.’
There were 27,501 admissions linked to cannabis in England in 2016/17, a 15 per cent rise in just two years from 23,866 in 2014/15