UK "one cannabis joint lead to our girls death"

By robert whitfield · Sep 6, 2007 · ·
  1. robert whitfield
    The family of a talented musician has told how she killed herself after her personality changed following a single joint of cannabis.

    Laura Bower-McKnight was a talented violinist

    Laura Bower-McKnight suffered a psychotic episode after smoking a joint of skunk - the strongest form of cannabis - which led to a damaging course of drugs, depression, bullying and finally suicide.

    The 22-year-old was found dead at her family's home in North Hykeham, Lincs, last Friday. She had hanged herself from the end of her bed.

    Carol McKnight said yesterday that she had no doubt that cannabis had led to her daughter's death.

    Mrs McKnight, 44, said: "People think nothing of cannabis nowadays. They just don't realise this drug can tip you over the edge.

    advertisement"A lot of people try it. With the Government declassifying it [from a Class B to a Class C substance] I think young people assume it is completely harmless. But it can destroy your mind."

    A violinist, Miss Bower-McKnight secured a place at the prestigious Royal Welsh College of Music, Cardiff, before going on to university. But she dropped out and returned home.

    Miss Bower-McKnight, who had suffered from anorexia in the past, had already smoked normal cannabis with friends but decided to try a joint of skunk - and the experience proved devastating.

    Mrs McKnight said: "It wasn't the real Laura, the lovely young woman, the musician, the passionate writer, the artist.

    "It tipped her into psychosis. We lost our wonderful girl for a while. Her behaviour became completely erratic. She was doing very odd things.

    "But people are ignorant of mental illness, and they labelled her as a loony. They did and said horrible things."

    The bullying, together with a course of anti-psychotic prescription drugs, left her so depressed that she felt unable to leave the house, Mrs McKnight said.

    "Laura was an extremely sensitive girl, and at this point she was vulnerable. I think she felt there was no future. She had come to the conclusion that the best parts of her life had already been lived."

    Mrs McKnight said she and her husband Malcolm, Laura's stepfather, hoped that her death would serve as a warning to others.

    "Laura would have wanted us to highlight these issues," she said. "There are a lot of young, vulnerable people. Expectations of them are so high. Drug use, depression and suicide among them is a growing problem."

    Mr McKnight, 44, an engineer, said: "Different people have different limits with drugs. For some, even the tiniest amount can be too much."

    According to the Royal College of Physicians, recent studies have shown that cannabis use doubles the risk of developing schizophrenia.

    Adolescents are said to be particularly at risk, with those who start smoking at 15 years old four times more likely to develop a psychotic disorder by the age of 26.

    A spokesman for the college said that a study of drug use in Denmark had also suggested the existence of "cannabis psychosis".

    "It is a short-lived disorder that seems to be brought on by cannabis use but subsides quickly once the individual has stopped using it," he said


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  1. fnord
    Miss Bower-McKnight, who had suffered from anorexia in the past, had already smoked normal cannabis with friends but decided to try a joint of skunk - and the experience proved devastating.

    hmm so she already had a pre-existing psych problem.

    "But people are ignorant of mental illness, and they labelled her as a loony. They did and said horrible things."
    The bullying, together with a course of anti-psychotic prescription drugs, left her so depressed that she felt unable to leave the house, Mrs McKnight said.

    and why is it the pot that did this and not the bullying and dopeing with probly unessacary psych meds?if someones to self consence(one of the issues that causes eating disorders)to leave the house they obviously had alot more issues then just smoking a damn WOW the uk papers are messed up,at least in the us they just try and convince us that the war is a great idea.
  2. TMM
    So it appears the girl had a large tendency towards psychosis. Coupled with her depression and other issues, that's really unfortunate. This is a tragic - if it's entirely true, which of course we can't be sure of - reminder that cannabis can, in rare cases, reveal dormant psychosis, but nothing much more than that. At least it doesn't appear that the parents are starting some huge campaign against drug use, ie. basically grabbing some fame from their daughter's death.

    Also, how the hell do you hang yourself from the end of a bed?
  3. fnord
    not to make light of a possible death but the first thing that came to mind was auto erotic self asphyxiation.rope tied to the bed then around the persons neck they then masterbate and sometimes get carried away and pass out on the rope.its actually quite common.
  4. Alicia
    LOL . do they think this crap will honestly wash with people. Ignorance thanks parents for helping spreading more bullshit among the mindless masses. Great job.

    "The bullying, together with a course of anti-psychotic prescription drugs, left her so depressed that she felt unable to leave the house, Mrs McKnight said."

    Hmmm.. try looking there before they blame, no wait she was anorexic before hand. no issues before she indulged anyone else heard this one before...
  5. Jatelka
    This is utter bollocks. I hate the Telegraph
  6. bcubed
    I don't understand how trained journalists (and their editors) voluntarily violate so many rules of responsible and ethical writing. This sort of "disguised op-ed" writing would never pass muster for a homicide or embezzlement story: it'd get summarily tossed.

    Further interesting is that the declassification of cannabis to Class C is a political issue. The combination of fast-and-loose writing standards and a political football makes me wonder what particular dog the Telegraph (and many, many others) have in this fight.
  7. Purest
    Its their favourite way of ruining my country. The press write anything, and people will believe it, they're currently just trying to get more people to support the possible upgrade from C to B meaning noone will be able to posses without risk of jail time.

    SWIM would like to very much shove the telegraph up the anal region of anyone that believes this crud. How can anyone publish such a stupid article like this.
    I took Psychology for A level, we learnt old psychological theory so that we could learn to point out the flaws in their arguments, this sort of article reminds me of a piece of work done by a guy called Sheldon who claimed that people who were mesomorphic (muscular) were more likely to commit crime than anyone else. This article is doing the same thing, its taking into consideration a single variable, and not looking at the bigger picture.
  8. Alicia
    The shock grabs the masses, they read details that are overly biased and start to attack or carry on this believe weed did this. not to mention the girl herself probly had issues before hand.. Ignorant society.
  9. Nagognog2
    Lordy! Can't you Brits find something better to read at breakfast or on the train? Try the New York Times. You can get it online. Once you ditch the tabloids - you won't go back.
  10. enquirewithin
    LOL! The Telegraph (supposedly) isn't a tabloid! It's supposed to be of a higher standard but it's very right wing and voices some appalling, prejudiced nonsense. The Independent and the Guardian are 'liberal' papers and somewhat better, roughly equivalent to the New York Times, which is a US-centric propaganda machine.

    Back on topic, I hate to be cynical, but this poor girl did have a lot of problems and any bereaved parents will want to find something to blame (not themselves!) and drugs would be a good scapegoat.
  11. KBLSD
    uhh... i hate that damn marijuana its a straight up cold killer
  12. fnord

    yes any 22yo has to have some serious issues if shes scared to leave the house because someone might pick on her!

    i had to deal with being picked on heavily at age 13 after coming back to school from a mental hospital,but i didint lock myself away i got revenge, after sitting quitly eating my lunch all the while some guy with an IQ smaller then his fitted hat size keeps poking me asking when i was going to go crazy i finished my lunch stood up and smashed a math book into his nose.problem solved no more bullying :)
  13. Nagognog2
    What? You didn't break his wristwatch so he could get the answer to his question?
  14. Woodman

    So, a mentally ill person commits suicide and this death is linked to a single joint that the person smoked.

    Interesting, but highly unlikely!
  15. raid517
    There's a drumbeat going on in the UK middle class press right now to have cannabis reclassified from class C back up to class B. (And this is after only having it reclassified to class C a few years ago). It's all the Guardian and Daily Mail and all that crowd - the chattering classes in other words - who seem to have got a bee in their bonnets about it (for no good reason, other than that they are so bored that they have nothing else to think or talk about). So don't be surprised if you see a lot of these stories emerging over the coming weeks. They are often heavily slanted, have 'shock horror!' type headlines and frequently leave out the fact that it is already very well understood that if you are predisposed to psychosis of some kind, smoking cannabis (or taking drugs of any sort) may only be likely to exacerbate your condition considerably. It is clearly a very severely twisted headline - as only when you read through it do you uncover that it was 'not one joint' as the headline claims, but probably extensive usage - and the person already had a long history of psychiatric illness too). The premise for the new campaign (instigated by the opposition leader David Cameron) is that appearently the Skunk on sale today is much stronger than the Skunk that could be bought only a few years ago. Clearly this is BS - although it is posible he has only really just found out what Skunk really is and how much stronger it is than the stuff he probably smoked in college.

    They will probably create a little moral panic for themselves, then the government will see some votes in it and eventually they will change the law again.

    Not that I'm saying cannabis is harmless. But it's like any drug, if you do it in moderation (as in not every day, or even every week) then you should be fine. But if you make it a big focus in your life and start using it regularly, several times a day every day, pretty much most people are going to experience some kind of difficulties because of this.

    Anyway this is the view of an ex-stoner. I was stoned for nearly 16 years - and I can say I missed out on a lot as a result of this. However I still would take the odd toke of high quality skunk now and then - but largely the feeling of being stoned just bores me now.
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