Category: Opinion

Cannabis effects and future health policy

Roy Robertson is Professor of Addiction Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. The paper Cannabis, tobacco smoking, and lung function: a cross-sectional observational study in a general practice population was published in the BJGP this week. Access the full paper here. Cannabis and its effects on health are complicated and wide ranging. Like other drugs with an impact on multiple systems there is a considerable literature about negative features and, as with alcohol when much of the measurable effect is the reason for its ingestion, there are mixed views about its value. Added to the balance of benefits versus damaging side effects is its illegality, at least in most administrations. This is clearly changing in several countries and will allow a naturalistic experiment to be evaluated over the next few years. An upcoming United Nations debate in 2016, sponsored by Mexico and Uruguay, will further expose the legal control system to change and may revolutionise the availability in many western countries including the UK. At the present time it looks like cannabis use may well increase over the next decade and, if commercial interests enter the frame then there may well be a much broader range of people participating in its use. The possibility of major manufacturing and marketing companies taking control raises many spectres for medical services used to managing the ravages of alcohol. For medical people the...

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Jeremy Hunt and A&E: does he think people are unteachable buffoons?

Adam Staten is a GP trainee in Surrey and is a Twitter newbie @adamstaten. When Jeremy Hunt decided to take his children to A&E rather than wait for a GP appointment, or indeed rather than making use of the out of hours GP service, he defended his decision with a speech that included an incredibly bleak assessment of the British people. His declaration that people could no longer tell what is urgent and what is not is tantamount to describing the population as a mass of unteachable buffoons. Perhaps Hunt is projecting when he sees the public as mindlessly...

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Introducing GPs Anonymous

Peter Aird is a GP in Bridgwater, Somerset. Is it just me or is being a GP increasingly being portrayed as something for which one ought to be ashamed? If so, then perhaps we should consider if we need some help. With the latest suggestion that patients will be able to bypass their GP and refer themselves for cancer investigations, perhaps it’s time to face up to an uncomfortable truth. We’ve been told enough times by enough people – perhaps the implication is true: we’re not up to the job. It’s all the fault of we GPs. We mustn’t  go...

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The British Journal of General Practice and BJGP Open are bringing research to clinical practice. This is where we add the debate and opinion to help ensure everyone benefits from that research.

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