Experts at the Institute of Psychiatry in London are publishing research suggesting that smoking cigarettes may be a contributory cause of schizophrenia (a psychotic disorder). This startling finding includes a just published study, plus research to be published in the near future, all of which appears to suggest an association between smoking cigarettes and developing psychosis.
Over the last three months, I've been making a film for ITV's Exposure strand on Britain's cannabis industry. I wanted to take a different approach to the usual 'blue light', following the police style of law and order programming that we've seen a lot of on our screens in recent years and get inside the cannabis business to see it from the criminals point-of-view.
When we address what drug law reforms mean in real terms, we can use this as a case in point. Seattle are in process of a rational, humane, affable conversation of responsibility, compared with that of V-Festival who are flailing in the wind and are arguably operating outside the laws that we do actually have.
Drugs being normalised on prime time television, you could argue, is harmless. It might not be original, but it's funny, and loads of people smoke cannabis, anyway. On the other hand, you may think it dangerously perpetuates the myths that drug use is entertaining, harmless and that it's no big deal.
Oh good, the obligatory news has broken that 'Super Strength Skunk' has invaded the isles and is wreaking havoc on UK shores. For those that work in drug policy, this story is similar to May Day: it comes round annually and leads to all kinds of pageantry - complete with bell ringing and the clashing of batons in a calamitous Morris-style jig.
David Nutt, Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London and Chair of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs, has eloquently criticised the 'scientific censorship' imposed by the UN single conventions that restricts and chokes the study of controlled substances such as cannabis, MDMA and psilocybin in medicine.