Denying the links between cannabis and mental illness is like arguing the earth is flat, one of the country’s leading psychiatrists has suggested.
Delivering the Irish Medical Organisation’s annual Doolin lecture on Saturday Dr Brendan Kelly, professor of psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin and consultant psychiatric to Tallaght Hospital said there was no doubt that cannabis was bad for mental health.
“The more cannabis you smoke, the more chance of a severe mental illness. It is as simple as that. And people who deny this link, are really akin to denying smoking causes cancer, who say climate change isn’t happening, who say the earth is flat and stuff like this. And they are valid view points but they are also wrong.”
Prof Kelly said while cannabis was bad for health, it was a separate question to ask what should be done about it.
“Not everything that’s bad for us is banned.The medical information is important. It needs to be taken into account that cannabis is bad for mental health, end of story. But there is a bunch of other considerations, to be taken on board, such as, for example, what are the pluses and minuses of our current policy regarding cannabis. What are the costs of our current policy in terms of criminalisation, and so forth. What would be the costs of legalisation.”
Source: Martin Wall, Irish Times, 8th December 2019