THE abduction, rape and murder of Alesha MacPhail has prompted calls for ministers at Westminster and Holyrood to change their soft-touch stance on cannabis.
Campaigner Ross Grainger has compiled a “catalogue of suicide and psychopathic violence committed by cannabis smokers in the UK and Ireland” over the past two decades including 200 murders, rapes and savage assaults.
He said: “In this case, as in all such cases, I do not say that cannabis 'caused' the perpetrator to do what he did, but rather that it would not have happened if he had not smoked cannabis.
“There is copious evidence, going back decades, of the immense harm cannabis can do to an adolescent mind, and it is, in my view, the only possible explanation for this young man's depravity and savagery.”…Mr Grainger said: “This may have given him a grudge. But many people have grudges and are full of bitterness. To act on this in the way he did, inflicting 117 injuries on the girl, requires a warped mind, and in my view only cannabis could have damaged it so.
“Abusing and raping children is not unique to cannabis smokers, but when I read of the 117 injuries he inflicted, I knew there must be cannabis behind it; a sustained, frenzied, brutal and psychopathic murder of this kind nearly always does.
“Cases involving more than 100 stab wounds are far from uncommon. In one of the cases I've compiled, a man stabbed another man 143 times because he thought he was the devil.”…Drugs expert Professor Neil McKeganey, director of the Centre for Substance Use Research in Glasgow, said Alesha's murder was "shocking in every respect except one - the killer had a history of extensive cannabis use".
He explained: "Nobody would suggest murderous actions are an inevitable consequence of such drug use but there is now a long list of murders where the perpetrators have been using cannabis - both on a long-term basis and just prior to their murderous actions.
"Cannabis served to distance these individuals from the horror of their actions and almost certainly contributes to their murderous mindset."
From the Abstract
Cannabis has been shown to be teratogenic in cells, animals and humans. Particular targets of prenatal exposure include brain, heart and blood vessels and chromosomal segregation…
Studies in cells, together with the above mentioned epidemiology, implicate cannabidiol, cannabichromene, cannabidivarin and other cannabinoids in significant genotoxicity and/or epigenotoxicity. Notch signalling has recently been shown to be altered by cannabinoids, which is highly pertinent to morphogenesis of the neuraxis and cardiovasculature, and also to congenital and inheritable cancer induction.
It is felt that subtle neurobehavioural psychosocial and educational deficits will likely be the most common expression of cannabinoid teratology at the population level.
The far reaching implications of this wide spectrum of neuroteratological, pediatric cardiological and other defects and deficits should be carefully considered in increasingly liberal paradigms. Hence it is shown that the disparate presentations of cannabis teratology relate directly and closely to the distribution of CB1R’s across the developing embryo and account for the polymorphous clinical presentations.
PUBLISHED: 14 February 2019
Smoking cannabis in your teenage years raises the risk of depression and suicide in later life, a landmark new study has found.
Researchers from the US and UK have revealed the drug could impair a child's brain to the extent it triggers mental health disorders later in life.
In the largest research of its kind, experts from Oxford University and McGill University estimated that over half a million adults in the UK and US could be saved from mental health disorders by avoiding the drug as a teenager.
The teams have now warned that cannabis, legal in several US states and used by millions of young people is a significant public health risk with 'devastating consequences'. They have urgently called for officials to make tackling use of the drug a priority.
'It's a big public health and mental health problem, we think,' co-author Professor Andrea Cipriani, from the University of Oxford, said.
'The number of people who are exposed to cannabis, especially in this vulnerable age, is very high and I think this should be a priority for public health and the mental health sector.'
The researchers, at McGill University and the University of Oxford, analysed data from 11 studies involving more than 23,000 individuals.
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