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Don’t exaggerate the dangers of cannabis

 
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Ferre
Cannabis Sacrament Minister.
Cannabis Sacrament Minister.


Joined: 14 Apr 2003
Posts: 7138
Location: Amsterdam

PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 11:23 am    Post subject: Don’t exaggerate the dangers of cannabis Reply with quote

I found this in my mailbox today...

Quote:
Author: Richard Hammersley, Professor of Health Psychology; David
Shewan, Department of Psychology, Glasgow Caledonian University.

---
in reply to:
http://ccguide.org.uk/news/shownewsarticle.php?articleid=11801


Not that cannabis is a safe drug, because there is no such thing, but it
is not "more dangerous than heroin" (Melanie Reid, October 19). We
assert that even though one of us has published work showing heroin not
to be as dangerous as commonly thought. It is not even true that
cannabis is more dangerous than alcohol.

The evidence, misrepresented in the article, is that starting to use
cannabis under 15 makes subsequent psychotic symptoms and schizophrenia
more likely among people susceptible to such problems. There may be a
genetic component. Robin Murray has made a substantial and sophisticated
contribution to the relevant research that deserves better coverage than
given here. One recent paper that Murray co-authored concluded:
"Although the regular use of cannabis may increase risk of psychotic
symptoms, most of those who use cannabis regularly do not develop
psychosis and most cases of psychosis are not attributable to cannabis." Schizophrenia is, thankfully, rare, while cannabis use is very common,
so the increase in risk, while statistically significant, is very small
in the general population. In one key study, cannabis use before age 15
was associated with three additional cases of schizophrenia in 759
people. Links between alcohol and mental and physical health are much
stronger.

A different issue is that cannabis also poses a problem for people with
mental health problems, as it can interact badly with medicine, worsen
symptoms or contribute to them ceasing to take medication. Many people
with mental health problems do take cannabis, but to feel better, reduce
boredom and because their peers do; there is no cause and effect. To
date there is no evidence that somebody who begins to use cannabis older
than 15 and who is not predisposed to mental illness will suffer any
mental health effects. It is important not to muddle psychotic symptoms
(such as seeing things that are not there) and schizophrenia. Psychotic
symptoms can occur without mental illness or current drug use, in
bereavement for example.

Melanie Reid's article makes it seem that any young person who uses
cannabis is at risk of becoming mentally ill. This is untrue. Some 40%
of people under 35 have taken it at some point, as well as older people,
including some politicians (who usually did not enjoy it or inhale), and
many other respectable and largely untroubled people. The only accurate
part of the article is that there is not enough research on cannabis,
given that it is so widespread and popular.

There is a need to reduce drinking, smoking and drug use among the
under-16s. This is not helped by scare stories. Remember that cannabis
is considered beneficial for a range of medical conditions and is
licensed for medical use in 11 US states.

Richard Hammersley, Professor of Health Psychology;
David Shewan, Department of Psychology,
Glasgow Caledonian University.
http://www.theherald.co.uk/features/72617.html


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David
Bard
Bard


Joined: 28 Sep 2003
Posts: 1188

PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its OK everyone, I have insider spies at the Daily Mail scientific Dept.(the internet)and here is the ongoing ever expanding guide to all you need to know about Cannabis. It may look like I am missing most of the pages, but I'm not, so don't throw away your libraries yet.
Quote:
Here's Mail online guide on how to identify different illegal substances and what effects they have...
CANNABIS
Nicknames include grass, hash, ganja, hemp, marijuana, pot, puff, resin, skunk, spliff, weed, wacky backy, dope. The cost varies widely around the country. Grass is usually more expensive than resin (hash).
What does it look like?
Cannabis comes in different forms. Hash is a blacky-brown lump made from the resin of the plant. It's quite often squidgey. Grass or weed is the dried leaves of the plant and looks like dried garden herbs.
How is it taken?
Most people mix cannabis up with tobacco and smoke it as a spliff or a jpint. Some people put it in a pipe. Others make tea with it or put it in food like cakes.
Associated items
Tiny bits of clear food wrap, cigarette papers, cigarette ends made of card, shredded cigarettes, pipes.
Effects
Short term - A sedative effect that makes some happy and others feel ill. Hunger pangs are common. It also affects concentration and can create feelings of panic and suspicion.
Long term - Can lead to lung disease and cancer. Increases risk of mental health problems and reduces fertility levels. Harder to concentrate and feel motivated.
Addictive?
10 per cent risk of psychological dependence.
Legality
Class C drug. Arrestable offence with maximum penalty of two years in prison.


I do myself have a few comments
Quote:
reduces fertility levels
When does this happen, because if I have anymore kids, I will need a minibus to get them around?
Quote:
can create feelings of panic and suspicion.
I have that feeling, "police maybe watching me". but when I am stoned I don't care.
Quote:
Can lead to lung disease and cancer.
Has this now been confirmed?
Quote:
10 per cent risk of psychological dependence.
Who actually comes up with these percentages?

If anyone can answer any of my question, I would be grateful they have been buggin me for years.
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