THE abduction, rape and murder of Alesha MacPhail has prompted calls for ministers at Westminster and Holyrood to change their soft-touch stance on cannabis.
Campaigner Ross Grainger has compiled a “catalogue of suicide and psychopathic violence committed by cannabis smokers in the UK and Ireland” over the past two decades including 200 murders, rapes and savage assaults.
He said: “In this case, as in all such cases, I do not say that cannabis 'caused' the perpetrator to do what he did, but rather that it would not have happened if he had not smoked cannabis.
“There is copious evidence, going back decades, of the immense harm cannabis can do to an adolescent mind, and it is, in my view, the only possible explanation for this young man's depravity and savagery.”…Mr Grainger said: “This may have given him a grudge. But many people have grudges and are full of bitterness. To act on this in the way he did, inflicting 117 injuries on the girl, requires a warped mind, and in my view only cannabis could have damaged it so.
“Abusing and raping children is not unique to cannabis smokers, but when I read of the 117 injuries he inflicted, I knew there must be cannabis behind it; a sustained, frenzied, brutal and psychopathic murder of this kind nearly always does.
“Cases involving more than 100 stab wounds are far from uncommon. In one of the cases I've compiled, a man stabbed another man 143 times because he thought he was the devil.”…Drugs expert Professor Neil McKeganey, director of the Centre for Substance Use Research in Glasgow, said Alesha's murder was "shocking in every respect except one - the killer had a history of extensive cannabis use".
He explained: "Nobody would suggest murderous actions are an inevitable consequence of such drug use but there is now a long list of murders where the perpetrators have been using cannabis - both on a long-term basis and just prior to their murderous actions.
"Cannabis served to distance these individuals from the horror of their actions and almost certainly contributes to their murderous mindset."