NURSES CALL FOR CANNABIS TO BE CLASS B DRUG
Mental Health Nurses Association/Unite “utterly reject” ACMD comment
News reports that the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (no ACMD hyperlink openly available) would decide to keep cannabis as a class C drug were criticised as “deeply regrettable” by Unite/Mental Health Nurses Association. It stated that the drug remaining on the class C list “flies in the face of established medical facts and common sense”.
“We utterly reject the reported recommendation from the advisory council that cannabis should remain a class C drug,” said Unite/NHNA chair Andy Lauder.
“It has been proved time and time again by well-respected medical studies that there are strong links between significant cannabis use and those suffering from mental health problems, or have a disposition to mental illness.
“The image that cannabis is harmless, or relatively harmless and can be passed around without side effects at smart middle-class dinner parties is very far from the grim reality that mental-health professionals have to deal with on a daily basis in psychiatric wards in hospitals across the country, where patients are recovering from psychotic breakdowns induced from excessive cannabis use.
“And there are now much stronger strains of cannabis, such as skunk, entering the UK in response to so-called market forces.”
The government asked the council to review cannabis’s legal status amid concerns over stronger forms of it. The council refused to confirm or deny any decision. Its chairman Professor Sir Michael Rawlins said a report would be sent to Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith later this month.
Click here for Unite/MHNA press release.
Unite (Amicus section) is the third largest union in the NHS. It has seven professional sections: the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association, the Mental Health Nurses Association, the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists, the Society of Sexual Health Advisers, the Medical Practitioners’ Union, College of Healthcare Chaplains, and the Hospital Physicists Association.
Unite was formed by an amalgamation of Amicus and the Transport and General Workers’ Union in May 2007.