Michael has been dubbed "stupid" and "naive"
by mental health charity Rethink for being filmed smoking
cannabis on an ITV programme.
seen lighting what appears to be a cannabis joint on a South
Bank Show special in Madrid, and says: "This stuff keeps me
sane and happy."
expressed concerns that the drug can be a cause of serious
mental health problems.
spokeswoman for the 43-year-old star declined to comment on the
The ITV show
said: "The interview was conducted in Madrid and at his
home in England. We must make it clear that when he was smoking
he was in Madrid where cannabis is legal."
from Rethink said: "Cannabis is not a risk-free drug. For a
significant minority of people it is a trigger for developing a
severe long term mental illness like schizophrenia.
most at risk are young people, the core of George Michael's
audience, and people who use it over a long period of time and
in large amounts," he added.
alcohol treatment charity Addaction are also worried about the
William Butler said: "We are concerned about the message
this can send out to young people, especially when there is such
confusion about the legality of cannabis."
was being filmed during his greatest hits tour, also said:
"It's a great drug, but obviously it's not very healthy.
You can't afford to smoke it if you've got anything to do.
Anything at all would be foolish."
Wham star added that it could be a "terrible, terrible
drug" and that it could "chill you out to such a
degree that you could lose your ambitions," but denied
having a drug problem on camera.
has been found slumped at the wheel of his car twice. He was
cautioned by police for possessing cannabis after the most
recent incident earlier this month.