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Dublin: 8°C Wednesday 27 January 2021

This legendary TV presenter got off his face on skunk and said it was 'worse than a war zone'

All for science, of course.

PEOPLE WHO SMOKE potent skunk strains of cannabis are three-times more at risk of psychosis than people who have never smoked the drug, according to research published yesterday.

The six-year study published in the medical journal The Lancet reported on 780 people living in south London, 410 of whom were being treated for conditions including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

“This paper suggests that we could prevent almost one quarter of cases of psychosis if no-one smoked high potency cannabis,”  a senior researcher for the study said.

So, like any veteran broadcaster would, Jon Snow of Channel 4 News went to University College London to smoke some himself.

All legal, of course. He was taking part in government-approved trials of the drug for a Channel 4 documentary called Drugs Live.

SnowSkunk3 Source: Channel 4

The effects of the drug range from elation, relaxation, alteration of time and perception, hallucinations, to anxiety and paranoia.

Snow, who admitted he has smoked cannabis ‘around a dozen time’ previously, didn’t exactly feel many of the recreational effects of skunk.

“By the time I was completely stoned I felt utterly bereft. I felt as if my soul had been wrenched from my body,” the presenter wrote in a blog post.

He inhaled two balloons of vaporised smoke, and was studied by researchers.

SnowSkunk2 Source: Channel 4

“I cascaded into a very, very, dark place, the darkest mental place I have ever been. I was frightened, paranoid, and felt physically and mentally wrapped in a dense blanket of fog.”

Snow was then placed in a MRI scanner to monitor his brain activity, but he was soon pleading to be let out.

“I’ve worked in war zone but I’ve never been as overwhelmingly frightened as I was right then – and as I emerge from the scanner you see me blearily sitting up and hugging young Dr Rebecca for my dear life, as if she was my mother.”

SnowSkunk1 Source: Channel 4

However, as the effects of the drug began to become more mild, Snow had a slightly nicer time.

Just toward the end I felt a sense of euphoria and expressed it by drawing a pastoral scene on an old box that was lying around in the lab. I drew trees, a fence, a river, and a couple of people – perhaps the very people, trees, and water, that I had felt so deprived of whilst stoned.

It took him four hours to come down, and isn’t planning on trying it again, he wrote.

You can watch the full clip of Jon Snow’s experience with skunk here, or wait until 3 March, when Drugs Live airs on Channel 4.

Additional reporting © – AFP 2015

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Nicky Ryan

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