Coroner links teen’s suicide to cannabis

A coroner has urged Gordon Brown to reflect upon the suicide of a teenage cannabis user when considering the reclassification of the drug.

Stuart Lester, a 21 year-old supermarket worker from Doncaster, hanged himself earlier this year. He began smoking cannabis at 15, and was diagnosed two years later with schizophrenia.

Delivering a verdict of suicide, coroner Stanley Hooper said that Stuart’s death might have been avoided if he had not used cannabis.

He said: “There had recently been discussions by politicians as to whether or not it was a mistake to reclassify cannabis and whether or not it should be reclassified as B rather than C.

“When considering possible reclassification those whose duty it is to do so may reflect upon the death of Stuart Lester.

“The use of cannabis can lead to devastating effects. It may be thought that this may not have happened had this young man not used cannabis as a child.”