Doctors link marijuana to mental illness
The American Psychology Association APA online, Psychology In The
United Press International - January 16, 2005 LONDON, Jan 16, 2005
(United Press International via COMTEX) -- British doctors have
connected marijuana use with rising rates of depression, psychosis and
The Royal College of General Practitioners said that acceptance of the
drug and greater availability of stronger forms of it were leading to
rising rates of depression, psychosis and schizophrenia, The Telegraph
of London reported Sunday.
"Health warnings are falling on deaf ears, drowned out by the cries of
powerful liberal pro-legalization groups," said Dr. Clare Gerada of
the college's drugs misuse unit.
"There is clear evidence that high levels of use, especially among
teenagers who are physically and mentally still developing, carries
with it the increased risk of psychosis and respiratory conditions
such as asthma," she said.
More worrying, Gerada said, was the increase in super-strong versions
of the drug, known as skunk. "The truth is, genetically modified forms
of the drug are the norm," she said.
The British Medical Journal in its January 2005 issue revealed that
smoking cannabis once or twice a week almost doubled the risk of
developing psychotic symptoms later in life.
Robin Murray, a professor of psychiatry at King's College London, has
said that since the 1980s doctors have begun to see a link between
psychotic symptoms and cannabis.