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Cannabis is the “gravest threat to the mental health of young people in Ireland today,” according to a new report.

The College of Psychiatrists in Ireland is urging the government to initiate a comprehensive campaign on the dangers of the drug.

It adds that potency in the drug has spiked in recent years, with hospital admissions for young people due to diagnoses related to cannabis quadrupled between 2005 and 2017.

Consultant child and adolescent addiction psychiatrist, Dr Gerry McCarney, says some children as young as 8 or 9 have experimented with cannabis.

Dr McCarney says this is largely due to the effects of peer pressure.