This article is a poorly-written pile of scat that wouldn't have passed muster in a entry-level journalism class.
Note that the article is about cannabis, but the "scare" in the story is about someone who hung himself after LSD use (Claimed in the story to have "caused" the death without any demonstration of a causal link).
Then, the author quotes the distraught mother (not indicated as an expert) about how bad cannabis is. (This is a common way to get away with biased writing in a news article: if the author wants to say "Sen. Smith is a wishy-washy, pinko commie," but can't get away with such, then s/he'll quote somone who says the exact same thing.) It wouldn't surprise me if Matt Alpin fed the quotes to the mom ("Say, is it alright if I quote you as saying...")
The story suggests Alpin found a stat re: cannabis use in Wales, decided to write an easy article telling how bad it is, and looked to find one "blood+guts" anectdotal case confirming this (although, seeing as how the case he found was actually about LSD, it doesn't seem he tried terribly hard).
"Without a doubt it was the cannabis that started it. It is phenomenally destructive."
Started what? Fuck, offensive as it might sound one could easily say that she started "it" when she shat out that walking anti-drug stereotype of a son.
"It’s not only the drug but the people who they get involved with."
All the more reason to legalise and normalise it. No-one would say that all alcohol users are the same type of people. A similar approach needs to be used for cannabis.
"The stuff people are smoking is completely different to the stuff middle-class hippies were smoking in the 1960’s because it’s much stronger."
Not exactly. Although common street cannabis is higher in THC levels and disproportionate in harmonising cannabinoid levels, not everyone smokes this stuff. All the more reason for legalisation. Monitor THC levels, produce a safer product. Simple stuff. These propagandistic smear articles achieve very little but Don Barnard's point is valid. With legalisation, it would be harder for kids to get hold of cannabis. Currently, picking up an eighth is probably easier than buying a box of cigarettes for most 15 year-olds.
Oh darn, here we'd made it a couple weeks without an outcry about the poor children; I was beginning to hope they were finally safe from the horrors of the reefer.