Drugs: Internet

Department of Health written question – answered on 27th January 2015.

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Photo of Charles Walker Charles Walker Chair, Procedure Committee, Chair, Procedure Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will update the FRANK website to include information on skunk cannabis and links between that drug and psychosis.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Since the FRANK website was launched in 2003 it has included information about skunk and other forms of cannabis and the harms that cannabis can cause. This includes the link between using cannabis and mental illnesses.

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Yes1 person thinks so

No2 people think not

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Peter Reynolds
Posted on 28 Jan 2015 11:22 am (Report this annotation)

As even a cursory examination of the scientific evidence will show, the link between cannabis and mental illness is tenuous.

In the UK, according to NHS data, the chances of mental illness correlating with alcohol use are six times greater than with cannabis use. Peanuts, sugar and hay fever remedies cause far more health harms than cannabis.

The only accurate use of the term 'skunk' is as the name of particular strain of cannabis produced from crossing Afghan, Mexican and Colombian varieties. Its average THC content when expertly grown is 9%. It is therefore far from the strongest strains available in the UK which range up to about 25% THC. It is also not widely available in the UK and has not been for more than 15 years.

Charles Walker MP is notorious for disseminating inaccurate and misleading information on cannabis. His use of the term 'skunk' and this mischievous question demonstrates, yet again, his dishonest and malevolent role in the debate around drugs policy.