Pubdate: Wed, 13 Sep 2006
Source: StarPhoenix, The (CN SN)
Copyright: 2006 The StarPhoenix
Author: Ken Sailor
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Youth)


Re: Journal articles link marijuana to schizophrenia (SP, Aug. 28). 
The debate about marijuana and schizophrenia isn't new and probably 
has more to do with scapegoating than mental health.

We have demonized marijuana as a dangerous drug and will leave no 
stone unturned trying to find some justification for a stupid policy.

The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry reports that schizophrenia rates 
have decreased 42 per cent in Canada at a time when our children have 
increased significantly their consumption of marijuana.

How hard would it be to make the reverse argument, that marijuana 
actually reduces schizophrenia? Furthermore, if prohibition of 
marijuana were an effective safeguard of our children's mental 
health, then one would expect our rate of schizophrenia to be lower 
than that of the Netherlands, where marijuana has been legally 
available for more than 30 years. But there is no difference in 
rates. Unsurprisingly, Dutch scientists surveyed many of the same 
studies (including the Swedish study) and concluded there is no 
causal link between marijuana and schizophrenia.

While there are good reasons to discourage our children from using 
marijuana, prohibition has been an utter failure: 75 per cent of our 
children will have tried marijuana before graduating high school, 
compared to 25 per cent in the Netherlands.

It is time to end the useless prohibition of marijuana: fears of 
schizophrenia are no justification for this expensive, brutal, and 
ineffective social policy.

Ken Sailor

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