Pubdate: Fri, 13 Jul 2001
Source: Essex Chronicle (UK)
Copyright: 2001 Quicksilver Media
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Bookmark: (Cannabis)


The family of a 23-year-old Chelmsford stage star who died five years ago 
have warned of the dangerous effects of cannabis and hit out at recent 
calls to legalise the drug.

Scott Sherrin, a presenter of BBC's That's Life and star of musicals Fame 
and Five Guys Named Moe, disappeared in September 1995 and his body was 
found in the River Thames at Wapping in March 1996.

In a letter to the Essex Chronicle Scott's sister Kerry, 34, cites cannabis 
as one of the factors that lead to the loss of the entertainer's life. 
"Cannabis had altered my brother's brain, he had become psychotic, 
unpredictable and very frightening," she said.

"Please don't let it happen to any of your children because of pier 
pressure or a new fad. "Don't let us all be corrupted by a small group of 
so-called 'free spirited individuals' who say it is a harmless recreation drug.

"Please say 'no' to legalising cannabis - life is hard enough."

Kerry's comments come at a time when former Conservative cabinet minister 
Peter Lilley and defeated Tory leadership candidate Michael Portillo have 
said there are strong arguments in favour of legalising the drug and after 
police in Brixton revealed they would warn, rather than arrest, those 
caught in possession of cannabis for personal use.

Chelmsford West MP Simon Burns said: "I do not agree with Peter Lilley's 
comments. I may be right, I may be wrong, but I believe cannabis can be a 
gateway to harder drugs."

Don Barnard, of Braintree, who works for The Legalise Cannabis Alliance, 
said: "It is possible that somebody who is predisposed to psychosis may be 
affected by cannabis, but 99.9 per cent of cannabis users do not suffer 
from such behaviour.

"I would not advocate or encourage people to smoke cannabis, but believe 
responsible adults should have the right to do so. Cannabis use needs to be 
legalised and then regulated."
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MAP posted-by: Terry Liittschwager