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Health Services: Cannabis

Volume 476: debated on Monday 19 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to put in place for a large-scale public health campaign on cannabis use. (202734)

The Department continues, through campaigns such as Frank, to make the public aware of the health harms associated with cannabis use.

In July 2007, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) were asked by the Home Secretary to reassess the medical and social scientific basis of the classification of cannabis in the light of real public concern about the potential mental health effects of cannabis use.

The ACMD report, “Cannabis: Classification and Public Health” (2008), was published in May 2008 and made a number of recommendations, including recommendations on public awareness, and we will update and refresh our messages on cannabis in light of these recommendations.

Currently public health messaging is dealt with separately by the four devolved Administrations. However, through the four United Kingdom chief medical officers, we will explore how we can harmonise the cannabis public health message and share best practice and lessons learned around the UK.

Additionally, we will shortly be publishing an expert report on the health risks associated with the use of both cannabis and tobacco, which will also feed into the updating of our messages on the harms caused by cannabis.