Facts vs myths
12:53pm Tuesday 8th April 2014 in Letters
I’M AFRAID Ms Greagsby’s letter should be headlined ‘Cannabis myths’ rather than ‘Cannabis facts’. She is completely wrong in the claims she makes: 1. There are dozens of peer-reviewed scientific studies showing the benefits of cannabis in treating cancer and epilepsy. GW Pharmaceuticals is currently conducting clinical trials in exactly these therapeutic areas.
2. Gemma Moss’ mother is taking legal action to have the coroner’s verdict overturned. It was a ridiculous verdict and, as already pointed out, even if true would be the only case in the world ever. Cannabis is the least toxic therapeutically active substance known to man.
3. The British Lung Foundation’s scaremongering report was immediately dismissed by all experts. and its chief executive, Dame Helena Shovelton, resigned as a result of the scandal surrounding its misinformation. Tashkin et al 2006 and Pletcher et al 2012 show that even long-term use of cannabis does not lead to lung problems or cancer and in fact provides a protective effect against the carcinogenic effects of tobacco.
4. Hickman et al, 2009. A review of all published research so, by definition¬, not cherry picked. It shows that the risk of lifetime cannabis use correlating with a single diagnosis of psychosis is at worst 0.013 per cent and probably less than 0.003 per cent.
5. In the UK, anyone is six times more likely to be admitted to hospital for mental and behavioural problems related to alcohol than to cannabis. See NHS HES data 6. The claim about road accidents is meaningless: 30% of the population uses cannabis in their lifetime so it would be astonishing if it wasn’t found in the bloodstream of some who have road accidents.
Ms Greagsby is simply promoting myths and scare stories. The evidence is available for anyone to check themselves.
Peter Reynolds Leader CLEAR Cannabis Law Reform
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