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Teens on Marijuana Prone to Schizophrenia and Psychosis


Health & Wellness  (tags: Teens on, Marijuana, Prone, to, Schizophrenia, Psychosis )

Agnes
- 939 days ago - drugfreehomes.org
Teenagers should be aware of the possible psychological effects of using marijuana. Recent studies have shown that marijuana users, especially teens, could develop schizophrenia or psychosis with continued use of the drug.



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Comments

Rose NoFWDSPLZ (273)
Sunday January 22, 2012, 12:13 am
YES THIS A KNOWN FACT
 

Stephen S. (31)
Sunday January 22, 2012, 3:13 am
Because they smoke too much. It's a sacred herb and they abuse it. They also drink and drive and do other crazy things. Regulate the behaviors and provide information and therapy but make it legal now because we're in a shithole of a stupid ass drug war that is useless and destructive and ridiculously expensive. It's called prohibition and it didn't work before and it won't work now. Develop sane policy not kneejerk.
 

Dogan Ozkan (5)
Sunday January 22, 2012, 8:54 pm
noted
 

Past Member (0)
Monday January 23, 2012, 6:10 pm
Propaganda, lets look at sugar and red die in candy sucralos energy drinks, booze, smoking, bad parenting, bulling bad diet, stress, anxiety, not enough sleep, prescription meds, anti anxiety meds, prozac and the like just to name a few things..
life has value beyond measure
Peace and Love
 

Virginia Esquer (10)
Monday January 23, 2012, 6:25 pm
That is a side effect from using it, the best thing is never start or have parents talk on prevention on drugs.
 

Nimue P. (230)
Monday January 23, 2012, 6:26 pm
Noted.
 

Past Member (0)
Monday January 23, 2012, 6:45 pm
noted
 

Ingrid A. (530)
Monday January 23, 2012, 6:47 pm
Thank you Agnes. Its noted.
 

Margery Coffey (8)
Tuesday January 24, 2012, 12:24 pm
This is a bassakwards article. The reason that statistics seemingly show a pot mental illness connection is that teen who are already prone to mental illness seek out pot so that they can function. Pot is a medicine not a cause.
 

Kevin Lewis (1)
Tuesday January 24, 2012, 2:28 pm
Oh come on, that's ridiculous!
 

Darlene B. (297)
Wednesday January 25, 2012, 12:51 am
They ought to worry about the other drugs marketed that they pump the kids with. Good grief, I don't use any drugs but this is downright crazy. Look at the damage prescribed meds can cause people, it is scary. Much rather have natural herbs.
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday January 25, 2012, 2:25 am
Marijuana Myth – Pot Increases the Risk of Schizophrenia

Why do you spread these lies Agnes? Can you say 'Reefer Madness'?

The Truth: This is a total media scare story. Different sources of this myth have different numbers. Some say you are 4.5 times more likely to become schizophrenic if you smoke pot. This “study” from the UK claims “Smoking just one cannabis joint raises danger of mental illness by 40%”. Pretty scary isn’t it? Fortunately these studies are total bullshit.

There have been many studies promoting the link between cannabis use and the onset of schizophrenia. It is not the quantity of scientific studies that matters though, it is the quality. As stated in some of my other marijuana myth posts there are three criteria that need to be satisfied in order to prove causality, these are: Association, Temporal Antecedence and Isolation. Association means the cause and effect must occur together, temporal antecedence means the effect must follow the cause and isolation means all other causes must be ruled out. The first two can be shown for pretty much anything.

For example if I performed a raindance and it rained later in the day I have satisfied association and temporal antecedence but not isolation. Therefore I cannot scientifically prove that my raindance worked. If raindances were a controversial topic the media would then publish the “study” and the headline would read “Recent Study Suggests that Raindance Leads to precipitation”. Sounds ridiculous right? Well that is exactly what has been happening with the hundreds of “studies” on cannabis and schizophrenia.

Isolation has not been proven in the marijuana-schizophrenia link. In fact evidence to the contrary is indisputable. Marijuana use has grown significantly in the last 30 years. If schizophrenia was caused by marijuana use then there should be an observable rise in schizophrenia rates as well. No such link has been established. This study from Australia demonstrates these findings (pdf). Before marijuana became popular less than 1% of the population was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and now that marijuana use in widespread the rate of schizophrenia diagnosis is still less than 1%.

The Report of the Senate Special Commitee on Illegal Drugs from Canada in 2002 concluded the following,

No mental pathology directly related to the overuse of cannabis has been reported, which distinguishes this substance from psychostimulants such as MDNA, cocaine or alcohol, heavy and repeated use of which can give rise to characteristic psychotic syndromes. Similarly, cannabis does not seem to precipitate the onset of pre-existing mental dysfunctions (schizophrenia, bipolar depression, etc.).

Those suffering from schizophrenia are known to use drugs. In a recent study, 60% of people with schizophrenia were found to use psychotropic drugs and 37% would be diagnosable with a substance use disorder. It is assumed that people with schizophrenia use drugs to overcome self-esteem issues and negative feelings due to antipsychotic medication and the condition itself. There are studies that show that cannabis can actually be used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia (link1, link2). The scientifically accepted factors that contribute to the onset of schizophrenia include genetics and social situations such as childhood abuse, poverty, and racial discrimination. Social outsiders generally cling to drug use as a means to self-medicate depression or just add a little enjoyment to their lives.

Three-quarters of persons with schizophrenia develop the disease between 16 and 25 years of age. The studies that suggest that marijuana causes schizophrenia claim that pot use during adolescence will cause schizophrenia around the age 26. That is the age that it will occur anyway. What does marijuana use have to do with it? Nothing. Persons who are predisposed to schizophrenia are awkward teenagers and much more likely to use cannabis and other drugs than their peers. It actually looks like schizophrenia causes some marijuana use!

Despite lack of evidence the media promotes these studies as true. Headlines like this, “UK researchers to claim as that pot is causing 14% of schizophrenia cases in the UK” are scary. These media scare stories are unfounded and designed to create widespread fear around marijuana use, also known as propaganda. The UK is currently in the middle of a psychological war on cannabis. Check out some of these recent claims taken from a pot-schizophrenia news story,


Professor Robin Murray, of the Institute of Psychiatry in London, warned yesterday that the risks were likely to be heightened by the increasing use of powerful skunk cannabis.

and

Cannabis has been implicated in a string of vicious killings, including the recent stabbing of fashion designer Lucy Braham.

These claims are absurd this is pure propaganda. Unfortunately the majority of people know very little about cannabis and accept these claims as true.

Agnes, is that you? If so, educate yourself.
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday January 25, 2012, 2:31 am
Agnes, what exactly is your agenda?

If you aren't just misinformed and ignorant of the truth, could it be that you profit in some way from Prohibition?

 

Agnes N. (717)
Wednesday January 25, 2012, 2:58 am
MJ.be calm...and .thanks for very long comment
you must be out of your mind..this is news worldwide to read...not mine
agree to disagree who will decide...??
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday January 25, 2012, 3:06 am
Science has decided. You are spreading lies!
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday January 25, 2012, 3:10 am
Before marijuana became popular less than 1% of the population was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and now that marijuana use in widespread the rate of schizophrenia diagnosis is still less than 1%.

Where are all of the new cases? It only takes common sense to see the truth, nevermind the science. Did you even read my 'very long comment'?
 

Agnes N. (717)
Wednesday January 25, 2012, 3:18 am
ตำนานกัญชา -- หม้อเพิ่มความเสี่ยงของโรคจิตเภท

คุณจะกระจายอยู่ใน Agnes เหล่านี้ทำไม? คุณสามารถพูดว่า'บ้าแมน'?

ความจริง : นี่คือเรื่องราวทั้งหมดหลอนสื่อ แหล่งที่มาแตกต่างกันของตำนานนี้มีตัวเลขที่แตกต่างกัน บางคนบอกว่าคุณกำลัง 4.5 เท่ามีแนวโน้มที่จะกลายเป็นจิตเภทถ้าคุณสูบบุหรี่หม้อ นี้"การศึกษา"จาก UK ที่อ้างว่า"บุหรี่กัญชาร่วมกันเพียงหนึ่งเพิ่มอันตรายจากการเจ็บป่วยทางจิตโดย 40%" สวยน่ากลัวไม่ได้หรือไม่ โชคดีที่การศึกษาเหล่านี้จะรวมพล่าม

มีการศึกษาหลายการส่งเสริมการเชื่อมโยงระหว่างการใช้กัญชาและเริ่มมีอาการของโรคจิตเภทที่ มันไม่ได้เป็นปริมาณของการศึกษาทางวิทยาศาสตร์ที่สำคัญแม้ว่าจะมีการที่มีคุณภาพ ตามที่ระบุไว้ในบางส่วนของข้อความของฉันกัญชาตำนานอื่น ๆ มีสามเกณฑ์ที่จะต้องมีความพึงพอใจในการสั่งซื้อเพื่อพิสูจน์อำนาจเหล่านี้ : สมาคม Antecedence ขมับและแยก สมาคมหมายถึงสาเหตุและผลจะต้องเกิดขึ้นร่วมกันชั่วคราว antecedence หมายถึงผลที่จะต้องปฏิบัติตามสาเหตุและการแยกหมายถึงทุกสาเหตุอื่น ๆ ที่จะต้องมีการปกครองออก แรกที่สองที่สามารถแสดงสิ่งที่สวยมาก

ตัวอย่างเช่นหากผมดำเนินการ raindance และฝนตกในภายหลังในวันที่ฉันมีความพึงพอใจสมาคมและเวลา antecedence แต่ไม่ได้แยก ดังนั้นผมจึงไม่สามารถทางวิทยาศาสตร์พิสูจน์ได้ว่า raindance ฉันทำงาน ถ้า raindances ได้เป็นหัวข้อที่ถกเถียงกันสื่อก็จะประกาศ"การศึกษา"และพาดหัวจะอ่าน"การศึกษาล่าสุดแนะนำ Raindance ที่นำไปสู่​​ปริมาณน้ำฝน" เสียงขวาไร้สาระ? กันดีว่าเป็นสิ่งที่ได้รับเกิดขึ้นกับร้อยของ"การศึกษา"ในกัญชาและจิตเภท

แยกไม่ได้รับการพิสูจน์ในการเชื่อมโยงกัญชาโรคจิตเภท - ในความเป็นจริงหลักฐานที่ตรงกันข้ามคือเถียงไม่ได้ ใช้กัญชามีการเติบโตอย่างมีนัยสำคัญในช่วง 30 ปี หากผู้ป่วยโรคจิตเภทเกิดจากการใช้กัญชานั้นควรจะมีเพิ่มขึ้นในอัตราที่สังเกตอาการจิตเภทเป็นอย่างดี ไม่มีการเชื่อมโยงดังกล่าวได้รับการจัดตั้งขึ้น การศึกษาจากออสเตรเลียค้นพบนี้แสดงให้เห็นเหล่านี้ (PDF) ก่อนที่กัญชาเป็นที่นิยมน้อยกว่า 1% ของประชากรที่ถูกวินิจฉัยว่าเ​​ป็นโรคจิตเภทและตอนนี้ใช้กัญชาที่อยู่ในอัตราของการวินิจฉัยโรคจิตเภทอย่างแพร่หลายก็ยังคงน้อยกว่า 1%

รายงานของคณะกรรมการพิเศษวุฒิสภาเกี่ยวกับยาเสพติดจากประเทศแคนาดาในปี 2002 สรุปได้ดังต่อไปนี้

ไม่มีพยาธิสภาพทางจิตที่เกี่ยวข้องโดยตรงกับการใช้มากเกินไปของกัญชาได้รับการรายงานซึ่งแตกต่างจากสารนี้ psychostimulants เช่น MDNA โคเคนหรือเครื่องดื่มแอลกอฮอล์, การใช้งานหนักและทำซ้ำซึ่งสามารถก่อให้เกิดอาการทางจิตลักษณะ ในทำนองเดียวกันกัญชาดูเหมือนจะไม่เกิดการตกตะกอนการโจมตีของความผิดปกติท​​างจิตที่มีอยู่ก่อน (โรคจิตเภท, bipolar ภาวะซึมเศร้า, ฯลฯ )

ความทุกข์ทรมานจากอาการจิตเภทที่เป็นที่รู้จักไปใช้ยาเสพติด ในการศึกษาล่าสุด, 60% ของคนที่มีอาการจิตเภทพบว่าใช้ยาเสพติดออกฤทธิ์ต่อจิตและ 37% จะเป็น diagnosable ที่มีความผิดปกติของการใช้สาร สันนิษฐานว่าเป็นคนที่มียาเสพติดที่ใช้โรคจิตเภทที่จะเอาชนะปัญหาความนับถือตนเองและความรู้สึกเชิงลบเนื่องจากการใช้ยา antipsychotic และสภาพของตัวเอง มีการศึกษาที่แสดงว่ากัญชาที่สามารถจริงจะใช้ในการรักษาอาการของโรคจิตเภท (link1, link2) เป็น ปัจจัยที่ได้รับการยอมรับทางวิทยาศาสตร์ที่นำไปสู่​​การโจมตีของอาการจิตเภทรวมถึงพันธุกรรมและสถานการณ์ทางสังคมเช่นการล่วงละเมิดในวัยเด็กของความยากจนและการเหยียดผิว บุคคลภายนอกที่สังคมโดยทั่วไปยึดมั่นในการใช้ยาเป็นวิธีการรักษาภาวะซึมเศร้าด้วยตนเอง - หรือเพียงแค่เพิ่มความสุขเล็ก ๆ น้อย ๆ ให้กับชีวิตของพวกเขา

สามในสี่ของบุคคลที่มีอาการจิตเภทเป็นโรคที่อยู่ระหว่าง 16 และ 25 ปี การศึกษาที่ขอแนะนำให้กัญชาที่เป็นสาเหตุของการเรียกร้องโรคจิตเภทที่ใช้หม้อในช่วงวัยรุ่นจะทำให้เกิดอาการจิตเภทรอบอายุ 26 นั่นคืออายุที่ว่ามันจะเกิดขึ้นอย่างไรก็ตาม ใช้กัญชาไม่ต้องทำอะไรกับมันได้หรือ ไม่มีอะไร บุคคลผู้มีอาการจิตเภทมักจะชอบเป็นวัยรุ่นที่น่าอึดอัดใจมากขึ้นและแนวโน้มที่จะใช้กัญชาและยาเสพติดอื่น ๆ ที่ไม่ใช่เพื่อนของพวกเขา มันจริงดูเหมือนว่าผู้ป่วยโรคจิตเภทเป็นสาเหตุของการใช้กัญชาบาง!

แม้จะมีการขาดหลักฐานสื่อที่ส่งเสริมการศึกษาเหล่านี้เป็นจริง พาดหัวเช่นนี้"นักวิจัย UK เพื่อเรียกร้องเป็นหม้อที่เป็นสาเหตุ 14% ของกรณีโรคจิตเภทใน UK ที่"น่ากลัว เหล่านี้สื่อเรื่องราวความหวาดกลัวมีโคมลอยและออกแบบมาเพื่อสร้างความหวาดกลัวอย่างแพร่หลายในรอบการใช้กัญชาที่รู้จักกันว่าเป็นโฆษณาชวนเชื่อ UK ในขณะนี้ในช่วงกลางของสงครามทางจิตวิทยาที่เกี่ยวกับกัญชา ตรวจสอบบางส่วนของการเรียกร้องล่าสุดเหล่านี้นำมาจากเรื่องข่าวหม้อโรคจิตเภท,


ศาสตราจารย์โรบิน Murray, ของสถ​​าบันจิตเวชศาสต​​ร์ในลอนดอน, เตือนเมื่อวานนี้ว่ามีความเสี่ยงที่มีแนวโน้มที่จะสูงขึ้นตามการใช้งานที่เพิ่มขึ้นของกัญชาเหม็นที่มีประสิทธิภาพ

และ

กัญชาได้รับการที่เกี่ยวข้องในสายของการฆ่าหินรวมทั้งล่าสุดแทงจากนักออกแบบแฟชั่น Lucy Braham

การเรียกร้องเหล่านี้จะไร้สาระนี้เป็นโฆษณาชวนเชื่อบริสุทธิ์ แต่น่าเสียดายที่คนส่วนใหญ่รู้น้อยมากเกี่ยวกับกัญชาและยอมรับข้อเรียกร้องเหล่านี้เป็นจริง

Agnes, คือการที่คุณ? ถ้ารู้ด้วยตัวเอง
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday January 25, 2012, 3:20 am
Agnes, something tells me that you aren't exposed to much truth in Bangkok.
Are these the only kind of articles that the Thailand government allows on your internet? I'm sure your bogus study is all over the Iranian 'news' too. You need to research the truth, if you care about truth.
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday January 25, 2012, 3:34 am
Rose, are you really that out of touch with reality?

'YES THIS A KNOWN FACT'

in what parallel universe?
 

Agnes N. (717)
Wednesday January 25, 2012, 3:36 am
MJ..something tell you is lie billion %
you might be so wrong
Science just a human ..the whole world all lie
human lie to each other
that your matter..not me...
I don't ignore it
that why I'm Drug Free
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday January 25, 2012, 3:45 am
Oh, I see...you would do marijuana if you thought the schizophrenia possibility was a lie. It's too bad you have to believe lies to make your choices in life. I prefer to make my choices knowing the truth.
 

Agnes N. (717)
Wednesday January 25, 2012, 3:50 am
Agnes, something tells me that you aren't exposed to much truth in Bangkok.
Are these the only kind of articles that the Thailand government allows on your internet? I'm sure your bogus study is all over the Iranian 'news' too. You need to research the truth, if you care about truth.
 

Agnes N. (717)
Wednesday January 25, 2012, 3:50 am
MJ..something tell you is lie billion %
you might be so wrong
Science just a human ..the whole world all lie
human lie to each other
that your matter..not me...
I don't ignore it
that why I'm Drug Free
 

Agnes N. (717)
Wednesday January 25, 2012, 3:53 am
I'm Drug Free and you?? try to spread smoke?? LOL
 

Agnes N. (717)
Wednesday January 25, 2012, 3:58 am
sorry MJ..I can't use English too much
I must to go now...let you be pro here alone...
don't smoke too much....the whole war will face with war3
:D :D
 

Agnes N. (717)
Wednesday January 25, 2012, 4:03 am
sorry MJ..I can't use English too much
I must to go now...let you be pro here alone...
don't smoke too much....the whole war will face with war3
sorry..miss spell often
the whole world will face with war3
 

monka blanke (74)
Wednesday January 25, 2012, 12:35 pm
@ Agnes I flaged your comment as inappropiate, 'cause I don't understand Thai. I used to smoke for about 30 years, and I'm perfectly allright. Alcohol is far worse !! Any abuse is no good. Keep the weed in control, and there's no harm. Governments are frightened of it, because ppl can still reason with it; they can still be creative - not so with alcohol which makes sick and the government earns a good penny on it with taxes.
 

Past Member (0)
Friday January 27, 2012, 2:11 am

Do Harsh Pot Laws Create a Dangerous Drinking Culture? 5 Reasons to Get Stoned Instead of Drunk

'Myths about marijuana convince people that alcohol is safer, but science shows pot is the healthier choice.
Alcohol kills approximately 70,000 people per year. Prescription pills, which have helped overdose become the leading cause of accidental death in America, result in more than 20,000 deaths per year. Marijuana has never killed anybody.

Although scientific research is available to show that pot is relatively harmless, and in fact medically beneficial, myths and propaganda about the plant’s alleged harm lead to marijuana laws so severe they often have the unintended consequence of driving people to drink alcohol, a much more dangerous substance than pot.

Many people do not understand just how harsh some marijuana legislation is. In America, pot possession so minor it is not even a misdemeanor can cause caring parents to lose custody of their children, because welfare offices may charge them with neglect, regardless of how good a parent they are. The legal ramifications of pot use may make parents who want to smoke marijuana more likely to drink alcohol, which is much more likely to create abusive or otherwise harmful behavior.

Jail time is another, more obvious consequence of pot use that may drive some people to drink. Last spring in Oklahoma, legislators voted in favor of House Bill 1798, enforcing a mandatory minimum of two years in jail and maximum penalty of life in prison for manufacturing hash. This despite the fact that in Oklahoma, state law already allowed judges to sentence pot growers to life in prison.

What's more, pot convictions can take away scholarships, food stamps, welfare, and public housing. Depriving a pot smoker of access to public assistance and housing while undermining his or her educational opportunities, may seem shocking. But politicians are escalating the punitive effort, with many states eager to implement mandatory drug testing for public assistance. Laws like these may well make alcohol a better choice than marijuana, as it does not have the same legal repercussions. Still, its health consequences are much more harmful than pot. Alcoholism not only causes liver and other types of cancers, as well as brain damage, it also increases the risk of death from car crashes and other accidents. And alcohol use is linked to acts of violence like rape, homicide and suicide.

The health effects of drinking will kill about 30,000 people a year, but another 40,000 people die each year from car crashes and other accidents caused by excessive alcohol consumption. The dangers and death associated with alcohol use become more shocking when we consider how many Americans drink: 67 percent of U.S. adults drink alcohol, and 17.6 million adults have drinking problems. Perhaps these numbers would not be so high if people who want to smoke pot were not worried about legal, and other disciplinary, consequences of using.

Aside from tough-on-pot laws, we see so-called pot deterrents regularly in our culture, especially in athletic departments. In some schools, athletes must pass drug tests or get the boot. Disciplinary policies like these can make alcohol the more appealing option.

As Steve Fox, one of the authors of Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?, told AlterNet:

“[M]arijuana laws, drug testing and societal pressures most definitely steer people toward alcohol every single day. Let's take one simple example. The National Football League, which inundates society with advertisements encouraging alcohol use, bans the use of marijuana among its players. In fact, it just suspended two players for marijuana use, include one player, Trent Williams, who lost $1.85 million as the result of his four-game suspension. A nearly $2 million penalty for getting high! So what will Trent Williams do the next time he wants to chill with his friends? Smoke marijuana or drink alcohol?”

A recent NIDA study on teen substance youth offers an example of how marijuana and alcohol use negatively correlate. The survey found that teenagers are increasingly using marijuana, and decreasing their alcohol and cigarette use, at the same time that fewer teens view marijuana as harmful. The study's authors suggest that the increase in pot use, if related to a dwindling belief that pot is bad, may be linked to "the debate over medical marijuana." In other words, teens may be increasingly hearing the medical benefits and relative harmlessness of pot and making decisions less likely to harm themselves. This should be good news.

As Fox told AlterNet,

“There are three choices for teens: drunk, high and sober. Of course, we hope they all choose to be sober, but that is not realistic. The best we can do for teens is to provide them with honest information and encourage them to be sober while their brains develop. But a campaign that only discusses -- and exaggerates -- the harms of marijuana will likely have the effect of steering teens toward alcohol use instead. Do we really want that outcome? Why? If we as a society cannot accept the fact that marijuana is less dangerous for teens than alcohol, then we aren't really addressing the issue at all.”

But some people believe that an increase in marijuana use -- even when possibly contributing to a decrease in alcohol use -- is negative. Part of why some people cannot see the harm reduction by reducing alcohol consumption, and why the laws that discourage pot use are so harsh, is because myths about pot's so-called danger remain rampant. Many Americans still believe that pot and alcohol are similarly harmful, and that legalizing marijuana may only create another American vice.

“This perception is wrong,” Mason Tvert, co-author of Marijuana is Safer, told Reuters, “and it can’t be corrected overnight. What we aim for is legislation that would give adults the choice between alcohol and a less harmful alternative. Current laws steer people toward alcohol because they fear the consequences of being caught using marijuana. But I think we are nearing a tipping point.”

To change the laws or provide youths, and adults, with the tools to make smarter decisions, accurate information must replace propaganda. As Fox explained to me:

“There is no way to ensure teen safety. The best we can do is diminish the likelihood of negative outcomes. One way to achieve this goal is to educate teens about the actual harms of intoxicating substances....Every teen should know that drinking too much alcohol could result in a fatal overdose. They must be careful. Drinking games sound fun, but they can literally be deadly. Of course, one cannot die from using too much marijuana. These two facts need not be conveyed at the same time. But this is just an example of the kind of honest information teens need.”

There are facts about pot that need to be communicated and repeated over and over. If fully understood, this information would help achieve reform of marijuana laws, and possibly have the long-term effect of not driving people to drink.

1. Marijuana is not a gateway drug.

"It's a gateway drug" is an argument that anti-pot people often use when they run out of false health concerns, as if marijuana's relative harmlessness is void because getting stoned will automatically turn people on to heroin. But the truth is that marijuana is not a gateway drug, and the vast majority of people who smoke pot will never move onto harder drugs. In 2009, 2.3 million people reported trying pot, but only 617,000 said they had tried cocaine, and just 180,000 said they had tried heroin.

Multiple studies have failed to prove that marijuana is more of a gateway drug than other substances like cigarettes, alcohol or prescription drugs. But we’ve known this since as far as back as 1999, when government researchers said, “There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs.”
Pot and other drug use can correlate, but not necessarily due to characteristics of pot itself, but something more powerful.

As Maia Szalavitz wrote in Time,

“People who are extremely interested in altering their consciousness are likely to want to try more than one way of doing it. If you are a true music fan, you probably won’t stick to listening to just one band or even a single genre — this doesn’t make lullabies a gateway to the Grateful Dead, it means that people who really like music probably like many different songs and groups.”

While pot is not a gateway drug, pot laws may very well be a gateway to alcohol use, as people who fear the law may turn to booze. And for those who choose to use pot even though it is illegal, pot’s criminal status may nudge them closer to criminals, by putting them in contact with dealers.

2. Pot smoke is relatively benign and does not cause lung cancer.

The "anything you smoke can't be good" meme helps keep prescription pot stigmatized, and supports pot's classification in the strict drug category Schedule I (with hard drugs like heroin), where substances are said to show lack of safety in use, among other qualifications like lack of medical value.

But a study released earlier this month proved that marijuana is not actually linked to breathing problems. Researchers studied the effects of marijuana smoke on lung function, and found that smoking pot does not cause the same irreversible breathing problems as cigarettes.

This information is not new; multiple studies have concluded that marijuana is not associated with similar health problems. As Paul Armentano, also a co-author of the book Marijuana is Safer, wrote for NORML:

“In 2006, the results of the largest case-controlled study ever to investigate the respiratory effects of marijuana smoking reported that cannabis use was not associated with lung-related cancers, even among subjects who reported smoking more than 22,000 joints over their lifetime.”

Alcohol, however, is linked to many cancers, including liver, mouth, throat, and breast cancer.

3. Pot does not cause schizophrenia.

Many drug war advocates allege that marijuana use causes schizophrenia or other mental health problems, but science continually shows otherwise.

A study led by Dr. Serge Sevy, an associate professor of psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, found that controlling for factors known to increase schizophrenia risk eliminated the association between disease onset and marijuana use.

Steve Fox told AlterNet,

"These mental health issues are generally as baseless and misleading as past prohibitionist claims, such as the claim that marijuana contains carcinogens that increase the users risk of lung cancer. The truth is that there has never been a documented case of lung cancer among marijuana-only (as opposed to marijuana and tobacco) smokers. Similarly, the rates of schizophrenia in society have not increased as marijuana use has become widespread, as one would expect if marijuana use caused the condition. There may be a correlation between people with mental health issues and marijuana use, but that is far different than causation."

The long-term cognitive effects of marijuana use are difficult to measure, because they are evident during highly demanding brain functions, according to the California Association of Addiction Medicine. But even the most long-term weed smokers will not face health problems comparable to those linked to long-term alcohol use, which include liver cirrhosis and Korsakoff’s syndrome, a disease that causes debilitating brain damage and the inability to form new memories.

Of course, any substance abuse is potentially more detrimental to a developing brain than to an adult brain. Prevention, or delaying use, is a great way to reduce harm. But prohibition does not guarantee increased safety, especially when alcohol is legal.

4. Driving high is not very dangerous.

Driving an automobile while high is another example of the fear-mongering used to facilitate harsh pot laws. Jill Cooper, the associate director of the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center at the University of California, Berkeley, argued with good intention in the New York Times that while alcohol is still "a very real threat to teen drivers," an increase in marijuana use also threatens threatens safe driving. She says,

"We should not feel that teens are safer stoned than drunk. Why would we want anyone with diminished skills, either as a result of cannabis use or alcohol use, operating a machine made of two tons of steel?"

But her logic is ill-informed. You would be hard pressed to find someone who advocates putting a driver with diminished skills behind the wheel. But marijuana use may actually cause a decrease in traffic fatalities. A study by the Institute for the Study of Labor, a research center for science, politics, and business in Bonn, Germany, showed that in states where medical marijuana is legal, adults were smoking more marijuana and drinking less alcohol, and the result was a 9 percent decrease in traffic fatalities.

Another study, conduced by Andrew Sewell, found that quantity affects ability, but "marijuana smokers tend to compensate effectively while driving by utilizing a variety of behavioral strategies," like driving slower. The study concluded:

“Epidemiological studies have been inconclusive regarding whether cannabis use causes an increased risk of accidents; in contrast, unanimity exists that alcohol use increases crash risk."

Mix alcohol and pot together, however, and the effects may be more intoxicating than either drug alone.

5. Pot does not make you lazy.

You've seen the image a million times: A pothead slumped on the couch surrounded by a cloud of weed smoke, paralyzed by his high. But marijuana is not a couch-potato creator. The technical name for marijuana-induced laziness is "amotivational syndrome," and research suggests it has a lot more to do with other factors than with pot. A study on marijuana use and amotivational syndrome shows circumstances unique to a person, or some underlying problem, are more to blame for amotivational syndrome than the drug itself. Like research on pot and schizophrenia, the challenge is separating pot use from other variables that may take place at the same time, and attributing the correct cause to effect.

But even if marijuana did make people lazy, pot is not associated with violent crime or sexual assault. Alcohol, on the other hand, is a contributing factor in many cases of violence, as well as sexual assault and rape. According to the National Center for Alcohol Law Enforcement:

Almost one in four victims of violent crime report that the perpetrator had been drinking prior to committing the violence.
Over one-third of victims of rapes or sexual assaults report that the offender was drinking at the time of the act.
It is estimated that 32 to 50 percent of homicides are preceded by alcohol consumption by the perpetrator.
Between 31 percent and 36 percent of prisoners convicted of a violent crime against an intimate reported that they were drinking alcohol at the time of the offense.
Alcohol is linked to reckless behavior and to serious injuries, and it is highly associated with emergency room visits. But marijuana is rarely associated with emergency room visits, and is not proven to increase reckless behavior or cause injuries.

As Fox told AlterNet,

"There are very few things in life that are harmless. We understand that McDonald's, Popeye's and tuna fish, for that matter, pose certain risks to our health. We don't ban all of these things because they are not harmless. When it comes to using a substance for recreation or relaxation, alcohol and marijuana are by far the two most popular choices in our society. In many ways they are quite similar. But the most significant difference is that marijuana is far less harmful to the user. More than 30,000 Americans die every year from the health effects of alcohol. The comparable number for marijuana is zero. If making marijuana legal results in millions of Americans shifting from alcohol consumption to marijuana consumption (at least in part), that will result in less physical harm to Americans and possibly fewer deaths. I will let other people judge whether that is a good thing."

To reduce the harm associated with substance use, Americans need the options and tools necessary to make health-based, informed decisions -- not harsh consequences that punish a relatively harmless drug.'
 

Past Member (0)
Friday January 27, 2012, 2:12 am
Do Harsh Pot Laws Create a Dangerous Drinking Culture? 5 Reasons to Get Stoned Instead of Drunk
 

Birgitta S. (224)
Saturday January 28, 2012, 12:53 am
i´m against All drugs. Thank you, Agnes for this.
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday January 28, 2012, 3:53 am
Bee, does that include the prescription drugs that kill 40,000 people a year? You know, the legal ones?
 

Juergen M. (1)
Monday October 1, 2012, 8:05 am
Cannabis is not reliable for the schizophrenia in youth or in men at all, the opposite may be fact.

People which have the tendency to develop schizophrenia will develop it with or without Cannabis use, this is in fact 1% of us all. Over the years more and more people have used Cannabis in any ways worldwide, but the incidence of schizophrenia is still the same! This is proof enough ... please educate yourself correct and do not spread this old myths about this medicine, in simple words this is a lie of the prohibitionists party.

Cannabis is medicine. Period!
 
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