The United Kingdom is expected to tighten its laws against cannabis use soon.
Government ministers have signaled there is a need for a change because of the known link with cannabis use and mental illness.
The Home Secretary ordered a review by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs which is due to report now.
The Home Secretary told the Council to look at the mental health problems of the stronger cannabis called skunk and the medical evidence from studies in New Zealand and the Netherlands.
(Source: The Telegraph, United Kingdom 9 January 2008)
This review is significant because the UK government downgraded its laws against cannabis in 2004 but now wants to reverse their decision.
The scientific evidence of the link between cannabis use and mental health problems is stronger now than ever before.
It is good for governments to have the courage to reverse past ineffective drug policies.
In Australia we need to treat cannabis use as serious and learn from the mistakes of other governments.
The most effective way of avoiding mental health problems from cannabis use is to strenuously discourage use in the teenage years.
Cannabis users should be provided with detoxification and rehabilitation to get them drug free before any mental health problems occur.