Monday, April 23, 2018

Is Marijuana a Dangerous Drug?

Is marijuana harmless? If you follow the opinions of the radical left and the libertarian right you would certainly think so.

Now comes to the news from Great Britain… more than 90% of those who are being treated for drug addiction are addicted to weed. Not just any old weed… a new, more potent version, called: skunk. Apparently, it is four times more powerful than regular weed.

The Daily Mail reports the news:

Cannabis is responsible for 91 per cent of cases where teenagers end up being treated for drug addiction, shocking new figures reveal.

Supporters of the drug claim it is harmless, but an official report now warns the ‘increased dominance of high-potency herbal cannabis’ – known as skunk – is causing more young people to seek treatment.

The revelation comes amid growing concerns that universities – and even some public schools – are awash with high-strength cannabis and other drugs.

Importantly, “skunk” damages developing adolescent brains.

The findings also back up academic research, revealed in The Mail on Sunday over the past three years, that skunk is having a serious detrimental impact on the mental health of the young. At least two studies have shown repeated use triples the risk of psychosis, with sufferers repeatedly experiencing delusional thoughts. Some victims end up taking their own lives.

The Daily Mail provides us with treatment statistics. Note that these numbers apply to adolescents who are under age 18:

  • Over the past decade, the number of under-18s treated for cannabis abuse in England has jumped 40 per cent – from 9,043 in 2006 to 12,712 in 2017;
  • Treatment for all narcotics has increased by 20 per cent – up from 11,618 to 13,961;
  • The proportion of juvenile drug treatment for cannabis use is up from four in five cases (78 per cent) to nine in ten (91 per cent);
  • There has been a ‘sharp increase’ in cocaine use among 15-year-olds, up 56 per cent from 16,700 in 2014 to 26,200 in 2016.
I trust that those who are reading this while high on weed will dismiss it all as a bunch of media-driven hysteria. And yet, how well do we know what weed does to the developing brain of an adolescent? And how can we prevent the more potent forms of the drug to make their way into children’s bodies… especially when their parents and adult authorities are telling them that smoking weed is harmless?


Ares Olympus said...

I don't know anyone promoting marijuana for children. I do remember hearing that the marijuana is much more potent now than in decades past, so once-pothead parents (or grandparents) may under-worry about what the kids are getting into now.

It does look like fear-mongering to suggest drugs CAUSE mental health issues or suicides, but it makes sense drug risk making existing mental issues worse. Statistical evidence is only weakly convincing.

Shaun F said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shaun F said...

Nothing is said about the demographics to provide specifics to better understand who is being affected. Because of this, I am of the opinion the frame of this article is being mis-represented. Growing up - a lot of people who I associated with smoked hash. However, all of us came from family units that were intact. We all had friends, we all had jobs, and most of pursued some level of formal education. Now in our fifties most of the guys I know from back then have jobs and families. So maybe it isn't the pot that is the issue. It's the lack of meaning, family, and community.

autothreads said...

It is rather hysterical. High potency seedless cannabis with 20% THC content or higher has been available for decades, not just recently.

Yes, teenagers with still-developing brains should avoid mood and mind altering substances, but your average adult isn't going to suffer brain damage from some top-shelf dispensary grade marijuana.

Plenty of your friends smoke cannabis daily, you just don't know it.