January 13, 2006

UK Panel: Cannabis link with mental illness is small

The Guardian newspaper reported on a UK panel report on cannabis and mental illness. The panel repeats what we've reported on before - that an estimated 10% (13% estimated in Amsterdam) of schizophrenia (and related disorders) is caused by schizophrenia (which correlates to approximately 50,000 people in the UK, and approximately 400,000+ people in the US who have developed schizophrenia due to cannabis use). As a total percent of users (in the tens of millions) this is a relatively small percent. The UK panel feels that this is a low enough to not reclassify the drug as a more serious drug. The story states:

"New scientific evidence suggests a causal link between cannabis use and long-term psychotic symptoms, according to the government's top drug advisory committee. But in a draft report to the home secretary, Charles Clarke, seen by the Guardian, the committee says that the risks are not high enough to support reclassification as class B. The report says: "The [committee] considers that cannabis products should remain class C."
The report said: "Collectively, the weight of evidence from these studies suggests an association between cannabis use, and the development of schizophrenia or a schizophreniform disorder, that is causal ... The best current estimate of the populations-attributable risk of schizophreniform illness due to cannabis (the percentage reduction in the prevalence of the condition if the use of cannabis could be totally eliminated) is about 8-10%."
Research by C├ęcile Henquet and her colleagues at the University of Maastricht was also considered by the council. "The consensus is that cannabis is not harmless. It is much more harmful than we expected, but it is not that cannabis in itself can cause psychosis," she said. ""Apparently some people have a sensitive brain to cannabis exposure."

Read the full story here: UK Panel: Cannabis link with mental illness is small

For more information see: Schizophrenia, Cannabis/Marijuana


what is the percentage of people world-wide who smoke marijuana on a daily
basis? do people drive better after having smoked a marijuana cigarette?
do people who smoke marijuana do better in school, than those who don't?
at what age do you recommend people start smoking marijuana so they
can 'feel better about themselves'?

Posted by: t.c. at February 4, 2006 12:57 PM

How precious are Joy and Peace? What is it they're worth to human suffering? Are they not priceless? We wage war, we give birth, we sacrifice; are these things in vain? Am I not human? Do I not do these things and for what? Joy and Peace for you and me?
Even if you could protect me from all things would it not be at the price of all civil liberty,yours and mine. Humanity is the measure of justice.

Posted by: sean alan at February 15, 2006 01:59 PM

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