A TV critic has blasted television’s lack of honesty about “the misery caused by cannabis”.
Christopher Stevens said that the industry’s wilful ignorance of the “cannabis epidemic” on men’s mental health was “worse than hypocrisy”.
His comments come after a US report earlier this year indicated that teenagers suffering from mental health disorders are at a significantly higher risk of self-harm if they smoke cannabis.
Stevens made the remarks in his review of a recent episode of Channel 4’s 24 Hours in Police Custody.
The episode followed a 21-year-old drug dealer arrested after shooting one man and holding a woman at gunpoint.
Speaking to officers, the gunman said he smoked cannabis every day, leaving him “frazzled”. He also revealed that he had first smoked the class-B drug at the age of eight.
But Stevens criticised the police and the show’s narrator for their “indifference” to the man’s drug use and dealing.
The journalist concluded that such an attitude “reflects the national failure of policing around drug crime.
“Forces across the country seem to have decided to ignore the use and sale of marijuana.”
reflects the national failure of policing around drug crime
Cannabis is a Class B drug which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and an unlimited fine for possession.
Recent research from Ohio State University research found that young people with mood disorders such as bipolar disorder or depression who also smoke cannabis are more than three times more likely to self-harm than those who don’t.
Those who smoke cannabis are also at significantly increased risk of dying from any cause and more than three times as likely to be murdered.
Over the course of seven years, the study tracked more than 200,000 people with mood disorders between the ages of ten and 24, and more than ten per cent of the study’s cohort were cannabis users.
Earlier this year, a police commissioner was branded “irresponsible” after calling for free cannabis to be given out to prisoners.
Arfon Jones, Police Commissioner for North Wales, made the proposal in an interview with The Guardian newspaper.
However, Mick Pimblett, Assistant General Secretary of the Prison Officers Association, argued that, rather than making prisons safer, free cannabis would be used as “currency” among prisoners and cause violence.