SCARE stories claiming the cannabis sold on London's streets is 20 times as strong as its equivalents ten years ago have
been rubbished by an authoritative new study conducted by researchers at King College London. Among those previously endorsing
the "super skunk cannabis" scare had been several Kings College psychiatrists
In this study the researchers analyzed samples of cannabis seized by police and found that the strength was the same as
when similar analyses were conducted a decade ago.
Lurid tales of super-strength "skunk" cannabis being
responsible for, among other things, a sharp rise in cases of mental illness, dominated headlines a few months ago and calls
were made by politicians to upgrade cannabis from a Class C to Class B drug. The latter carrying more severe legal penalties
for users caught by the authorities. Serious researchers, including those at the Centre for Duncanian Studies, had responded
to these reports by expressing doubts that cannabis potency had actually changed and arguing that it was an irrelevant issue
in any case since cannabis smokers titrate their dose -- stopping when they reach the level of intoxication they desire.
It is the case that some samples of cannabis were much more potent than others, but the researchers found only four per
cent of the samples had "super-skunk" levels of strength and that even then, they were not as powerful as previously reported.
Much the same appears to have been true of cannabis sold in the UK in the past.
The new survey is likely to be used as evidence by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, which is due to report
to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith on the possible upgrading of cannabis offenses next year.
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Coming soon to our tabloids?