New cannabis campaign launched16th February 2009
A Home Office campaign which warns about the connection between taking cannabis and mental health problems is being shown on television.
The adverts show cannabis takers experiencing a worrying collection of side-effects, including panic and paranoia.
The adverts are directed at 11 to 18-year-olds and are part of a £2.2 million campaign which supports the change in the drug's classification to class B status.
Under stricter laws, possession of cannabis means a warning, then a fine and prosecution if it is a third offence. Anyone dealing the drug can be given a maximum of 14 years in prison.
The adverts want to convince potential cannabis users to first "Talk to Frank" by looking at a website or phoning an information service.
Cannabis is currently the most common illegal substance used in the UK.
Spokesman Chris Hudson said: "There is evidence of a link between cannabis and mental health problems such as schizophrenia, and those who first use it at an early age may be more at risk."
"You never truly know what you're getting and stronger cannabis, such as skunk, can increase the chance of suffering a nasty reaction."
Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of mental health charity Sane, said: "We need hard-hitting campaigns like this to convince people just how frightening the effects of cannabis can be."
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Title: New cannabis campaign launched
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 10217
Date Added: 16th Feb 2009