Hospital cases for cannabis are on the up

Margaret Mitchell MSP
Margaret Mitchell MSP

Drug users have been warned of the dangers of dabbling in cannabis after hospital figures for Lanarkshire were released.

The county has a higher rate of casualties for cannabis-related conditions than the Scottish average.

Cannabis accounted for more than one in 10 drug-related hospital admissions in Scotland in 2012/13.

In Lanarkshire there were 46 admissions due to cannabis, 12.7 per cent of the total drug-related hospital cases. The Scottish average was 10.7 per cent.

Margaret Mitchell, Conservative MSP for Central Scotland, said the number of cannabis cases in Scotland has been increasing since 2008/09.

It was responsible for more admissions than Class A drug cocaine, although the vast majority of admissions were related to opioids such as heroin.

The Conservatives are warning the police and NHS not to ‘ease off’ when it comes to cannabis and Mrs Mitchell said: “While cannabis enjoys a reputation in some quarters as essentially being a safe drug, these figures show that clearly isn’t the case.

“Cannabis on the streets today is a very different and much more dangerous drug than in the 1960s.

“This complacent attitude must be challenged to ensure that those who use cannabis realise this is not a risk-free activity - and that they could end up hospitalised and with mental health issues in the long term.”