Canadian Broadcasting Corp: “Doubt Cast on Cannabis, Schizophrenia Link”

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director September 2, 2009

    Well, better late than never.

    Doubt cast on cannabis, schizophrenia link
    via CBC

    A British study has cast doubt on the supposed link between cannabis use and schizophrenia.

    … This latest study, led by Dr. Martin Frisher of Keele University, examined the records of 600,000 patients aged between 16 and 44.

    … Frisher and colleagues compared the trends of cannabis use with general practitioner records of schizophrenia and psychosis.

    They argue that if cannabis use does cause schizophrenia, an increase in cannabis use should be followed by an increase in the incidence of schizophrenia.

    According to the study, cannabis use in the United Kingdom between 1972 and 2002 has increased four-fold in the general population, and 18-fold among under-18s.

    Based on the literature supporting the link, the authors argue that this should be followed by an increase in schizophrenia incidence of 29 per cent between 1990 and 2010.

    But the researchers found no increase in the rates of schizophrenia and psychosis diagnosis during that period. In fact, some of the data suggested the incidence of these conditions had decreased.

    Over the past few years the mainstream media, as well as federal politicians, have enjoyed promoting the notion that smoking pot induces mental illness. Perhaps most notably, in 2007 the MSM touted that cannabis “could boost the risk of developing a psychotic illness later in life by about 40 percent” — a talking point that was also publicly promoted US anti-drug officials. Similarly, Canadian bureaucrats alleged — just two weeks ago — that marijuana users have a “seven-fold increase” in risk of developing schizophrenia.

    Given this environment, I held little hope that anyone in the MSM would bother to report on the Keele University study — which initially appeared online on the website of the journal Schizophrenia Research in late June and was reported on by NORML on July 2 — despite its obvious newsworthiness.

    And for nearly two months no one did. But kudos to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and a handful of British tabloids for just now bringing these findings to light (and even acknowledging that the MSM would have arguably provided far more prominence to this story had the findings demonstrated the opposite result.)

    For now, let’s score one for the good guys, and cross your fingers that the American press will also eventually take notice.

    39 responses to “Canadian Broadcasting Corp: “Doubt Cast on Cannabis, Schizophrenia Link””

    1. Fireweed says:

      I thought that study was skanky somehow.

    2. TC says:

      My feeling on the schizophrenia is everybody is just worried about being arrested and that causes lots of fear. and it just gets worse as time goes on.

    3. Brandon W says:

      The only reason I ever get paranoid is when I think someone who is against it, knows that I am high. In other words, I fear retaliation because of its illegality. Paranoia is a symptom of the drug war, not pot.

      I went to the other comment forum for this article, and I found it laughable how people still try to discredit a study that reviewed over 600,000 medical records, all because of their (false) moral beliefs.

      I do enjoy more and more when I go to these public news sites, and the responses are always overwhelmingly in favor of legalization.

      It’s also funny to listen to the non-factual arguments made by prohibitionists calling all pot users “dumb stoners” when they are the ones who are too stupid to even use spell check. But yet those idiots are the ones the government cares about, because their stupidity keeps them in power.

    4. Jerry Moler says:

      I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for the MSM to start covering the positive news about cannabis. All you have to do is think about where their income comes from. Drug manufactures and corporations that want to keep cannabis in it’s current status(alcohol produces and distributors to name a few). They are not going to do anything that might upset their paying clients. It is web sites like this that are truly informing people about the facts. More and more people are turning to the web for information as the MSM is bought and paid for by the same companies that own our elected officials. The government can’t go against the money that gets them elected now can they. Until our laws are changed about who can contribute and how much they can contribute these politicians are going to do whatever they are told to by those that pay for their campaign.

    5. Buggsy13420666 says:

      Yhe Schizophrenia Link is just another ploy by the PROHIBITIONISTS with propaganda and lies being spread to to keep marijuana illegal. Sure your going to have split personality, one for msdicinal and recreational use and the other for the oppression of the mindless drug war on MARIJUANA PROHIBITION. PEACE AND HARMONY VS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OVERLORDS. We make our own choices on what we ingest into our own bodies, but the problem is GOVERNMENT TYRANNY AND THE ANTI-MARIJUANA NAZIS. All the government czars positions are taken up. 420 ALL THE WAY!

    6. R.O.E. says:

      I agree,People have every reason to be paranoid when using or even being around someone that has cannabis.After all, if caiught with it ,your life is ruined. People have prohibition to thank for that,otherwise People could relax and not hide from the law.

    7. General-Jake says:

      You are either born a nutjob or not. Im bi-polar and my shrink said i probably had it since i was born and it jus showed later on in life. Pot calms my head and allows for thoughts and everything to be closer and more orderly thatn jus my meds alone. Anyone who says pot causes mental illess is a fukin idiot of the highest degree just tryin to spread propaganda.

    8. Gavin says:

      Hey, just a little logical gamesmanship: It’s possible that people who were schizophrenic would try to medicate themselves, anything to stop the pain, voices, whatever, and thus, might turn to cannabis. Then when they end up in mental institutions or jail, (and jails are increasingly housing people who should be in mental institutions) it comes out that they smoked weed. And voila! There’s your link between marijuana and schizophrenia: all these schizophrenics smoke weed, therefore, weed causes schizophrenia. My point is, watch out for people who would use that kind of backwards logic to set up false causal relationships.

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    10. Anonymous says:

      schizophrenia is a little more complicated than just being paranoid #2. But this is good news nonetheless