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Cannabis smokers 'are taking huge risk of psychotic illness'

JULY 27, 2007

Professor Robin Murray from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's comments on a study published in The Lancet reviewing evidence regarding cannabis use and the risk of psychotic or affective mental health outcomes. The study finds that cannabis users are 40% more likely to develop a psychotic illness than non-users. Professor Murray says the study is “a very competent and conservative assessment of what research studies tell us about the relationship between cannabis and psychiatric disorders” and that the risk could be even higher than the authors have estimated.

Professor Robin Murray was interviewed on BBC 1 O'clock News today and called for education rather than re-classification of cannabis. He said that education was much more important than classification as young people "need to know the risks, not whether it's a 'b' or 'c' drug". Professor Murray added that the more a person smokes cannabis the greater the risk of psychosis and that the research the study was based on pre-cluded skunk, the much stronger strain of cannabis which is commonly smoked today.

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