Pubdate: Fri, 05 Jun 2009
Source: Peace Arch News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Peace Arch News
Author: Frank G. Sterle, Jr.



Re: Lighting up is bad either way, May 20 letters.

I strongly agree with letter-writer M. Downey on this

I, a former pot-consumer - along with most of my former
pot-consumption peers who I've bumped into these last half-dozen years
- - can attest to the permanent damage that marijuana can cause to the
consumer's body and mind.

Scientific proof of such potential damage?

For one, there are the startling facts published in The Guardian newspaper
in 2002; it was authored by Robin Murray, professor of psychiatry at the
Institute of Psychiatry in London:

"In the mid-'90s, a Dutch psychiatrist named Don Lintzen, from the
University Clinic in Amsterdam, noted that people with schizophrenia
who consumed a lot of cannabis had a much worse outcome than those who
didn't. This was confirmed by other studies, including a four-year
follow-up at the Maudsley Hospital.  Those who continued to smoke
cannabis were three times more likely to develop a chronic illness
than those who did not consume the drug," Murray learned.

"Why does cannabis exacerbate psychosis? In schizophrenia, the
hallucinations result from an excess of a brain chemical called
dopamine. All of the drugs that cause psychosis - amphetamines,
cocaine and cannabis - increase the release of dopamine in the brain.
In this way, they are distinct from illicit drugs such as heroin or
morphine, which do not make psychosis worse."

If pro-pot people propose legalizing marijuana for practical reasons -
e.g., less pressure on already-overburdened law-enforcement and
justice systems - that's a clear and perhaps practical motive.

But there's simply way too much of the media-propagated BS out there
implying or outright declaring to our impressionable youth that pot is

Frank G. Sterle, Jr.,
White Rock
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake