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Teenage Cannabis Smoker More Likely to Develop Schizophrenia

Still think that cannabis is harmless? Here's another reason why you shouldn't smoke pot: scientists found that teenage cannabis smoker are more likely to suffer psychotic symptoms and full-blown mental illness later in life.

Adolescent drug takers interviewed for the largest study of its kind reported experiencing at least three symptoms indicating a risk of psychosis.

These included feeling like something strange or inexplicable was taking place, suspecting they were being influenced or followed and difficulty in controlling the speed of thoughts.

Frequent drug users were more at risk but even youngsters dabbling at an early stage were vulnerable.

The researchers also found taking cannabis in adolescence creates a greater risk of developing schizophrenia than using it when older.

Link


Still doesn't justify the war on drugs... If the government was concerned with people's mental health, they wouldn't put them in jail for possession.
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should be noted that this is probably post late 1980's when THC levels skyrocketed in pumped-up marijuana - I was aware of this then, back in 90 or so when I met a whole ream of young men off their nut- I asked if any studies were being done, but it fell on deaf ears - most of the stuff you see nowadays doesn't ever see the sunshine as it grows, and how could you trust that sort of a plant?
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Hmm. Did you know that teenage alcohol drinkers are more likely to get liver cirrhosis?

Also, a lot of teenage alcohol drinkers have reported symptoms that may indicate a risk psychosis, such as seeing things that are not there, erratic behavior and a lowered sense of risk.
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How do they know that these people wouldn't have developed problems anyway? Maybe the reason they were smoking pot in the first place was a form of self-medication for milder symptoms.
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40 million dollars spent on the war on drugs, but nicotine and alcohol are still legal. I gotta think that the war is about something other than protecting users' health, mental or otherwise.
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Where is the control group? They interviewed thousands of teens and tried to link cannabis use and mental illness. Pardon me if I am wrong but correlation does not equal causation. In fact, many mentally ill people self medicate with cannabis to alleviate the symptoms of their disorders. Know what's harmful? Alcohol.
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the daily mail is, for the Uk, quite a reactionary newspaper and this interpretation of the study would suit them very well.

I would recommend you read something a little more impartial like The UK National Health Service analysis of this same study.

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2008/06June/Pages/Cannabisuseandpsychosis.aspx

which tells us some interesting things about the study, - including:

Importantly, a positive “score” on the PROD-screen questionnaire does not diagnose psychosis. It is used to indicate whether a person is entering the period of early symptoms or changes in function that may come before psychosis. However, even for this, the score is not 100% accurate at predicting psychosis, or even proven as a tool for diagnosing the prodrome. The researchers used a shortened form of the original PROD-screen questionnaire (they reduced it from 21 questions to 12). It is unclear what effect this would have on the overall accuracy of the screening test. If it was too inclusive, i.e. there were a high number of false-positives, the relationship between drug use and symptoms would have been overstated.
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This is one study. I can make a study that shows that apples can fly... I can make a study that shows that red is actually green. I'm not convinced.
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Wow, the potheads get really touchy when you try to make them take responsibility for their actions and introduce a little guilt into the equation. But what do I care? Smoke more pot if you want to, it's only brain cells, after all...
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and yet its still infinately safer than alcohol or cigarettes......oh and greg ur an idiot. let me smoke a joint and then get in a head on collision.....oh thats right, thats just when u get drunk.....idiot.

oh and name someone thats overdosed smoking pot....or wrecklessly killed other people while high on pot......i'll wait.
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how about fuck you then? any unhealthy habit i have is none of your fucking business as long as im not hurting anyone else....get it now? u chime in with your elitist remarks instead of seeing the problem at hand. alcohol is WAY BIGGER of a problem than pot and ill be defensive as long as this gross injustice is taking place...idiot.
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Why are you supporting unsupported studies? This is mostly speculation by the government paid researchers.
I had never touched a joint until 19. Prior to this I was a crazy teenager, no life, constantly depressed and out of whack with the rest of society.

Smoking pot opened my eyes to the world. I can truely say that pot saved my mental health and transformed the ugly, sad teenager into a person who is actually productive and happy in life.

Sad thing is, you never hear of the people who smoke pot and succeed. You only hear of the failures. You'd be suprised how many people say that dropping LSD was the best thing they've done in life. Apple's Steve Jobs included.
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Thanks for proving my point, ass.

Alcohol= BAD FOR YOU
Cigarette Smoking= BAD FOR YOU
Pot Smoking= BAD FOR YOU

Get it now?

It doesn't matter which one you put into your body, they're ALL harmful, and they're ALL addictive. Only difference is pot smokers are the WORST in regards to going on the defensive when someone questions their RIGHT to engage in stupid, self destructive habits.
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Wow, NON-pot smokers sure are defensive when some BS study gets refuted for being merely more, ahem, smoke blown up people's arses about a drug that's less addictive than alcohol and cigarettes yet oddly is illegal while the other two aren't.

And this is coming from someone who DOESN'T smoke pot but thinks the whole "war" is a bunk what with putting people behind bars for longer terms than rapists, people who beat other people up, and other actual crimes.
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1 bottle of gin a day = bad
1 glass of red wine at lunch = good

5 bongs of super skunk a day = bad
1 joint of pure outdoor weed = good

it's all about being conscious with what you do.
And I don't know if keeping it illegal helps the talking.
it just fuels disinformation on both positions
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you have No RIGHT to tell me what i can and can't do with my body ass. how many legal substances can you obtain that you can overdose on? exactly, so pot's illegal why again? look at the timber and oil industries as well as the drugmakers. all of which stand to lose billions if pot is legalized....but i suppose talking down to pot smokers is more important to you than actually knowing the facts..

bad for you? what kind of response is that? just about everything on this planet is "bad for you" in 1 way or another so get off your high horse. its called minding your own business. you dont wanna smoke dont smoke, but dont judge other people when you definately have no idea what your talking about.
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Buncha pot smokers gettin all defensive!!!!

It's my business what you do to your body!!!!

We shouldn't stop with weed though. Lets start monitoring all the people that eat to much, because after all, those triple cheeseburger they're sucking down isn't very healthy for them. Just take away everything "bad" for anyone. No more cigarettes for the smokers, no more sugar for the diabetics, no more coffee, soda, pain relievers, or anything else that could possibly hurt someone. And especially no free will.

Can't have people making their own decisions.
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They do not appear to even name the "researchers."

"Their findings will bolster the Government's decision last month to restore cannabis to the harsher Class B status against the advice of its own scientists."

I'm guessing this means they deliberately chose to ignore the difference between cannabis causing schizophrenia and people already at risk of schizophrenia being inclined to smoke pot. In other words, they didn't even look to which was cause and which was effect.

Politics as usual: the truth is in the way, so make up a new truth.
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SenorMysterioso and Creampants both have good points.

Pot smokers ALWAYS bring up something worse than what they use to try and justify the fact that they use it, "I smoke pot, but at least I ain't raping old ladies!", or "I smoke pot, but at least I'm not dipping peasants in acid!", etc, etc...

And hell yes there should be some kind of regulation and punishment for people who abuse food. Damn fat asses are more of a drain on the economy than alcoholics, smokers, and potheads combined.

And as for "gregurdumb" (The fact that you are able to display your obviously vast intelligence and imagination in such a short insult is truly astounding). If you spent half as much time refuting my arguments intelligently, instead of insulting me personally, I might have taken you seriously. But no, it's easier, (and less mentally taxing for you, I assume) to hurl insults and epithets.
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Greg wrote:

"And hell yes there should be some kind of regulation and punishment for people who abuse food. Damn fat asses are more of a drain on the economy than alcoholics, smokers, and potheads combined."

Before you give the government the right to put a gun to your head and force you lose weight, you should find out what they mean by "overweight."

http://flickr.com/photos/77367764@N00/sets/72157602199008819/detail/

Odds are, by the official criteria right now, *you* are overweight, and thus, a fatass.
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Greg my friend, I'm afraid you missed the sarcasm in my post. I think you should worry more about Greg and less about what other people do with their lives.

Potheads (myself included) bring up things like alcohol because it doesn't make sense that something that is worse is legal. It's a valid argument, whether it's a tired one or not. People should be able to do whatever they want, as long as they aren't hurting other people.
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@Sniperman = I think so, hell tax it and make some money too. I remember when I was a minor, it was harder for me to get cigs and booze than weed.

Although, I think that young people shouldn't smoke it, because some teens don't know how to handle the lack of initiative you get hit with, and will just lay on the couch and play vids all day/get fat watching tv and eating junk food. (Not all teens though, some are able to get off their ass and do fun shit, also depends on the kind of bud, sativa gives me a little more energy/pep, compared to indicas which kinda knock me on my ass)

But I do think that if your a mature adult, that nobody has the right to tell you that you can't smoke it. The reason stoners always say booze and cigs are worse, is because it IS, and not by a little, by a lot! Weed is only psychologically addictive compared to booze and cigs. I will say though that most stoners do tend to ignore the effects of the carcinogens on their lungs, which is obviously bad for you. I think I heard somewhere 1 joint = 8 cigs, (don't ask me to cite where), but I can see that. Most people I know though don't smoke 20 joints a day, compared to some cig smokers who will smoke a pack a day no problem.

I can go on for hours, but I'll leave it at that for now.
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No, I didn't miss your sarcasm, Cream, but you apparently missed mine. That's the problem with the internet, tone and intent are lost. Sending the government after overweight people would be worse than sending them after pot smokers. Can you imagine the defensive stance THEY would take? "My triple cheeseburger and twinkies ain't hurting no one!", blah, blah, blah...
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Pot smokers aren't bringing up other drugs that are worse in order to defend themselves, they are simply pointing out the ridiculousness of our current system of what is allowed and not allowed. And yes, we are defensive when someone acts as if because we have chosen to ingest a plant from the earth, and that plants happens to have been deemed "bad", then we wave our basic human rights. We still have the right to choose what to put into our bodies as long as if doesn't affect the livelihood of anyone else, and YES we have the right to defend that action against bullshit propaganda. Be educated and realize that even if you don't smoke pot, you have a duty to ensure that people in this country are being guaranteed the right for their pursuit of happiness.

"A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very freedoms upon which this nation was founded" - President Lincoln
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Looks like someone needs to chill out. Greg why are you posting every 40-60 minutes? Do you have nothing better to do? Go have some fun & gamble for a few hours. Drink a little.
What's the point of living until 100 if you had a boring time doing it?
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I wonder what the norms are, of that tribe that was discovered in the Amazon (that was posted on neatorama a few days ago) are? I bet if one of their members was hearing voices and seeing visions, they'd be the mobs shaman (witch doctor) and they'd have a respected place in their community.

It's still a real shame we use closed minded ideology to silence our so-called mad and confine everyone to think in non-mad terms.

There is no conclusive lab test for SZ and there is no known cause. To date, calling SZ an illness amounts to no more than ideology. Using the same ideology, we could claim all left wing thinking people are mentally ill.

I think labeling people that have broken out of consensus reality as mad is just another form of madness. I think we should embrace all possible modes of thought and remove this wall we've put up. I think we'd all be better for it. People labeled as SZ have respected place society, like they did in our past.

Jeez, we'd have to change a few of our constructs though, and it would cause social upheaval and problems but it would be worth it, I reckon.
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Hm, well since the symptoms of psychosis include irrational behavior, changes in personality, and a dissasociation from reality, which are pretty much the POINT of smoking marijuana, all this study demonstrates is that teens who smoke marijuana actually get high. Eureka!
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Yeah, this definitely does NOT deserve a spot on Neatorama. For starters, it's biased and clearly meant as propaganda in a last ditch effort to get those who have never smoked(more than once) riled up about why it should be banned. It's like Reverend Lovejoy's wife on The Simpsons - "Won't somebody please think about the children!?!?" Everyone can relate to children since we all were children at one point (obviously)... it's a gimmick, folks; you shouldn't buy into it.

Of course kids shouldn't smoke pot which is why this article is stupid. No one in their right mind would say its a good idea for a 15 year old to smoke - it doesn't take a study to figure out that that's a bad idea.

I could go on a rant pointing out each bit of bias that's directly misleading in this article, but it'd be a waste of my time. However, I recommend you take a gander at some of the long and short term effects of anti-depressant, anti-anxiety and ADHD medications. Put on some scary music while you're reading that and... VUALA! you've got yourself some more evil drugs that kids should stay away from.
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What IS so bad about cannabis? It can be used to ease pain, increase apetite, treat motion sickness, prevent epileptic seizures, reduce imflammation... The list goes on.
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i think it's equally likely that people prone to schizophrenia are more likely to try drugs. i bet you could prove that, too, if you spent the money on a study. hell, if i find that most teenagers prone to mental illness like bacon, does that mean bacon is dangerous?
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"Mental health" is a scam. It's an industry comprised of a bunch of drug companies and their employees (psychiatrists) just trying to make a buck off the misfortune and sorrow of others.
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I don't smoke pot or nicotine or anything. No interest, never have been curious. However, I have to agree with the poster who suggested that they most likely already had these problems and were self-medicating. The same as people who self medicate with alcohol or anything else. That there is a link does not make it a cause.
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The story says:
'These included feeling like something strange or inexplicable was taking place, suspecting they were being influenced or followed and difficulty in controlling the speed of thoughts.'

In other words: do they sometimes experience feelings of 'paranoia' when smoking marihuana.
Most pot-smokers know that feeling. It happens once in a while, when you smoke bad quality pot, or a lot in a short time, or didn't feel good to begin with, tired, empty stomach, etc. It's like every drinker knows a time a drink didn't go down well because of the same reasons.
Young people still have to find out what qualities and quantities they like. It's no surprise to me they experience paranoia more. Older smokers know what they like.
Actually I think feelings of guilt and shame can also trigger a paranoia-effect. If people feel very guilty about smoking and ashamed, it's less pleasurable. Often they never smoke pot again. I really doubt that all those people are potential schizophrenics.

About the source, the Daily Mail, I like to say that that site is not trustworthy at all, in my opinion. I've read anti-marihuana stories there that reminded me of the movie 'Reefer Madness'.
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the only problem with smoking pot is the smoke itself, like cigarette smoke it can cause respiratory problems.

the active substances that causes the "high" are pretty safe. the risks can be eliminated by vaporizing, but, nothing beats a nice joint

some of the comments above shows how ignorant some people are about this things, and would turn to lashing out insulting remarks to hide it. it makes me sad.

herb will heal mankind.
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...or maybe the study only shows correlation between cannabis use and prodromal symptoms of psychosis in Finland's adolescents.
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Greg

So round up the fat and the pot smokers as they are spoilinhg your fine healthy Clear thinking tomorrow?

Fat people are fat because after millions of years we are still animals, and will eat fats if they are there, so if they are always there, we are PROGRAMMED to eat them.

Over coming that programming is incredibly hard, as for alcohol and marijuana, they literally IGNITE the pleasure centres of the brain, they make us feel good, that's why we do it.

And as for your lumpy notion of rounding up and punishing them for doing what they are hard wired to do, well that pretty much marks you indelibly as a totalitarian.

See who's next? which group of sub standard humans are on your lists? How about Black people?

Man thiose blacks and their hyper tension, not to mention the sickle cell aneamia, what are they like, parasites on your shiny healthy America.

Legistlating against human nature is the siort of thing normally reserved for the hard line religious crazy crowd.
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yea, when kids smoke pot, they don't have the maturity to distinguish these "symptoms" as their brains and bodies are still developing and they are much more likely to take on such habits as a result of peer pressure. teens, as a generalization, can't comprehend artificial paranoia and it is not uncommon for youngins who smoke to experience irrational feelings on the onset of said paranoia. you don't really have a reason to be paranoid when you're a kid because you can't be arrested and the whole "help help i'm being oppressed!" opinion doesn't even occur until you turn 18 and realize you can be thrown in jail for petty crimes.

also, this is why you are encouraged not to smoke or do any drugs when you're young because your brain is still developing. if you introduce any chemical to a developing brain you're likely to see adverse effects later in life, either mental or physical. i know many people my age who can't smoke anymore because it induces panic attacks and anxiety. and what do they do to combat the symptoms? they don't smoke! they have learned what ill effects the drug has on them, and took the smarter route of sobriety (though still indulge in alcohol). i understand that it's hard to say 'no' when you're a teenager because you are at such a prime age to discover the wonders of the world around you, and i am definitely an advocate of exploring those wonders. but if something can cause you to feel uncomfortably anxious or paranoid, don't do it! simple solution.
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ALSO-- these studies are supposed to convince people that "marijuana is bad, mmkay?" yet, they don't make a point of researching the ill-effects of pharmaceutical drugs on children (even adults, for that matter)because the FDA continues to profit from them, and pharms do not tend to have a negative connotation across the board. it's a big o'l world of hypocracy, if you ask me.
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I agree with Greg. Smoking pot isn't healthy. Neither is smoking cigarettes or drinking. Why are people surprised at this?
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Ok, I had to skip a lot of the comments because they were getting out of control, but this sounds like a preliminary study. There needs to be a control group, and an understanding that correlation and causation are not the same thing. There are plenty of external factors at work here. It's not such an unlikely hypothesis because schizophrenia does usually start in late adolescence and mind altering drugs might help it along. On the other hand, almost everyone I know smoked pot as a teenager or young adult and none of them are schizophrenic. I really doubt that it would induce it in someone who wasn't already predisposed.
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Way to go, Pol x, equate my opinions with racism, as a way to further discredit me, simply because you disagree. My post on over-eating was sarcasm, which apparently doesn't go over well with the marijuana-addled crowd...

California pot smokers love to refer to their beloved Prop 215 as proof that the majority of people in California (55%) think marijuana is "A-OK!". What they and most other Californians tend to forget is another proposition that same year, Prop 187, which was meant to deny illegal immigrants all publicly provided services, which also passed, but with an even greater majority (58%).

My point? People in California aren't always as smart as they'd like the rest of the country to think. So the pot smokers are all for marijuana use, especially when it's legitimized by a doctor's prescription, just don't share any with the Mexicans. See? I can create racism where there is none as well...
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The thing about the illegality of pot is that government thinks it has a right to control what you eat and smoke because society as a whole thinks this way. It's human nature to meddle. That's what is so fantastic about the Declaration of Independence-- it got down to the nitty gritty of things "All men are created equal"-- not Joe, Laura, and Bill are equal but the government takes precedence. The government is people-- a group of people lumped together are still equal with any one single individual. Individuals have rights, and government is only around to protect those rights by limiting itself as much as possible.

People think they have a right to meddle more when they are footing the bill (i.e. their time is stolen in the form of pork barrel projects and bills and taxes which pay for our welfare state). Am I working from Jan. thru April to pay for diabetic medicare patients who contributed to their lack of moneys and lack of health through personal choice? Does my money go to pay for food stamps to families who choose to utilize them for white wonder bread and chocolate cocoa puffs? Do pothead hippies who think they have a right to their own bodies also expect that other Americans do not have rights to their own pocketbook/time?

I smoke weed-- and I don't think I'll ever give it up. Only smoke about monthly, but I enjoy it. But I also eat well and I don't expect you to foot the bill should I acquire lung cancer due to my personal choices.
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I've smoked pot (hash) almost every day since I was 17, I'm now 43.

No harm here except for any unseen damage that maybe happening to my lungs from the smoke, mentally I'm fine, I've always been in employment, home owner and now run my own business.

Why should the government step in to try and stop me? we need to make decisions for ourselves why would anyone on this comments page want me to stop?

I'm also a vegetarian I don't go around saying that for health and moral reasons everyone else should be vegetarian, I'll leave that decision to you individuals, I'm just doing what is right for me.
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If I still smoked pot, this study would do absolutely nothing to deter me from continuing to smoke marijuana.

Marijuana is for sissies anyways, all the real hard core druggies do leech (affixing leeches to the eyeball)
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The only schizophrenic I know didn't smoke pot until after he was diagnosed. His symptoms are greatly subdued after he smokes pot. Also, marijuana nearly cured my Tourette's Syndrome.
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My cousin who I grew up with has schizophrenia, and when he drank alcohol he would get paranoid and freak out.He even tried to kill himself when he was drinking. When he smoked weed, he would be calm and mellow.

Does psychological addiction mean you like to do something ? I am hooked on Pez!!!And cranberry sauce....
Someone said weed makes marriage tolerable...also working for a living!!
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