Dr Max Pemberton, NHS psychiatrist and newspaper columnist, has warned against the legalisation of cannabis and insisted that the drug “wrecks lives”.
Writing in his column for the Daily Mail, Dr Pemberton said that he had seen many people become psychotic using cannabis, with the problem worsening in recent years.
It comes just one month after police in London came under fire for choosing not to enforce the law on drugs possession at a pro-cannabis rally.
Those that cannabis ruins are locked away in mental hospitals, or shut away in their rooms while their parents can only watch as their child slips away from them.
He wrote: “Cannabis wrecks lives. Over the years that I have been a doctor, I have seen dozens of people who’ve become psychotic using it, and the number has increased recently as stronger forms such as skunk have become more widely available.”
“People aren’t making informed decisions about the risks because few ever witness the true horrors.
“Those that cannabis ruins are locked away in mental hospitals, or shut away in their rooms while their parents can only watch as their child slips away from them”, Dr Pemberton added.
He went on to highlight evidence which shows “clear links between cannabis use and mental health problems”.
“The Royal College of Psychiatrists is unequivocal: regular use of the drug has been found to double the risk of a psychotic episode or developing schizophrenia.”
Dr Pemberton concluded by saying that it “enrages” him that he has spent years “trying to pick up the pieces of lives ruined by cannabis” and criticised those calling for legislation “that would see even more people destroyed”.
Last month, thousands of people descended on Hyde Park to mark 420, an annual ‘celebration’ of the drug observed around the world on 20 April.
Images showed many protesters smoking joints and using drug paraphernalia in full view of the police, but only twelve people were arrested.
Cannabis is a Class B drug which carries a maximum sentence of five years and an unlimited fine.