Study Debunks Claim That Pot Smoking Causes Mental Illness

Much has made — by the mainstream media and others — of the claim that cannabis use causes certain types of mental illness, specifically schizophrenia and psychosis.
Most notably perhaps, a team of researchers writing in the July 28, 2007 edition of the prestigious scientific journal The Lancet, boldly proclaimed that smoking cannabis could boost one’s risk of a psychotic episode by 40 percent or more.
Naturally, this alarmist rhetoric received wall-to-wall coverage by the mainstream press. Even more troubling, the supposed ‘pot-and-schizophrenia’ link was one of the primary reasons cited by British PM Gordon Brown, ex-Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and others as the impetus for reclassifying cannabis (from a verbal warning to a criminal offense punishable by up to five years in jail) in the United Kingdom.
Of course, there was a fatal flaw with The Lancet‘s argument — one that, oddly enough, every single MSM outlet failed to mention. Empirical data did not support the investigators’ hypothesis that smoking marijuana was associated with increased rates of schizophrenia or other mental illnesses among the general public — a fact that even the authors begrudgingly admitted when they declared, “Projected trends for schizophrenia incidence have not paralleled trends in cannabis use over time.”
Which brings us to 2009.
Two years after The Lancet‘s dire predictions, a team of researchers at the Keele University Medical School have once and for all put the ‘pot-and-mental illness’ claims to the test. Writing in a forthcoming edition of the scientific journal Schizophrenia Research, they compare long-term trends in marijuana use and incidences of schizophrenia and/or psychoses in the United Kingdom. And what do they find?

“[T]he expected rise in diagnoses of schizophrenia and psychoses did not occur over a 10 year period. This study does not therefore support the specific causal link between cannabis use and incidence of psychotic disorders. … This concurs with other reports indicating that increases in population cannabis use have not been followed by increases in psychotic incidence.”

Should we expect an apology — or even better, a change in policy — from the Gordon Brown regime any time soon? Or at the very least, will some sort of ‘correction’ be forthcoming from the mainstream news media?
I wouldn’t hold my breath.

0 thoughts

  1. Just make sure you don’t confuse “absence of evidence” of a link with “evidence of absence”of a link

  2. Hi #7 Rick…I was thinking that same thing today.
    If a person has a choice between ‘walking in the valley of darkness’…or lifting their spirit to the mountains and heavens on high…gee, go figure. Who in their right mind in the first place wouldn’t want to alleviate depression?
    The first time I ever tried it I was astounded that I didn’t have to feel (the way I felt) after all.
    Yes a teenaged crtically depressed little girl all of her life…a friend named Mary Jane came about to help this little girl’s suffering.
    I hope that Mary Jane’s released from behind bars really really soon. I think it’s time to set her free at last for now and ever more.

  3. #18 Victor Spencer – They had me locked up and tortured for a week saying that I was suicidal. They were putting the words in my mouth and causing me to be suicidal…then literally standing back and yelling at me to shut up or be chained to the shit grate. If I asked the large loud group of officers to please turn down the T.V. they would yell, “look at the physco TURN IT UP and they did…by about the fifth day with absolutely no sleep I thought I could claw my way out of that cubicle made of cinder blocks. They would not even let me out to use the bathroom or shower or brush my teeth for three solid days at a time. I was suffering with the initial assault’s damage to my lower spine from two year’s prior. They reversed any healing physically, mentally, spiritually that I had achieved. I had been walking on a cane stooped over for two years. It was all very trumped up charges… on each and every one of several arrests. My so called family had me in a tightly woven and conspired circle of lies. The detective gave me twelve times the amount of my sleeping pills screaming at me to “shut up and just take them!” We were in the parking lot of the hospital; the jail had not accepted me yet because of the way I was walking. Why was this dick unscathed for poisoning me that way. It was attempted murder. I knew he wanted me dead and so did my very own mother and pedophile brother. When I finally got home…I could not eat…I could not sleep…I tried some pot but they would literally be at my back door and smell…take me in again…and the cycle continued for years. It only ceased in 2006 when I was finally hospitalized. I ran naked from my house to the ambulance. The big ‘ole Chief of Police made his last false accusation and character assassination to me that day when he barged through my front door as usual demanding to see an imaginary gun for years he thought I had. Funny little thing, this old town I live in. In 2001 a bi-polar man deprived of medication was left by the local police with a very real gun. This man took his wife’s life, another man’s life and his own that night. My innocent friend survived being shot by the man.

  4. P.S. If anyone is wondering what brought all of this scrutiny to my children and I…In 1994 I won $220,232.20 on a slot machine in Wendover, Nevada.
    People were already jealous of me; I had achieved being out of debt before I hit the jackpot! O-o-o-h then the hatred of myself and my children must have been building up for about three or four years. I’ve always been a strong independent woman. In this small town I’m sure it was said, “there’s that woman that won all of that money. . . but she smokes pot…”
    The peer pressure and scrutiny of our lives was horrible; I’m from a huge family. They all acted like I had millions to go around all of a sudden. All of the damn hypocrites watched me be their scapegoat for eight long years. My friends and family always grew and smoked pot. These are the stupid asses who say, “yeah, legalize, but not in Utah.”
    Right now it sort of feels like I’m finally getting out of prison too, even though the 0-5 nor the fifteen-year sentences were ever upheld.
    Yes, I had to represent myself most of the time. In federal court the man who crippled me jumped up and cheered “Yes” when lack of evidence kept him from being held liable for excessive force. I’ll never forget the group of men patting each other, shaking hands, like they were in a sport competition when plain-clothed officers beat the shit out of me in my front door. This is as my federal case was pending. Gee, does anyone agree, that I’m the ‘witness that was being tampered with’ in this instance?’
    Three men on my back in eight seconds. Six children running and screaming in terror. They were kidnapped from their Aunt Wendy. They suffered abuse at the hands of foster care people. The child protection agency had told me to take the children home that day and wait for a phone call. I was handcuffed and crawling away from this bastard’s assaults and I knocked my ringing phone on the floor off of the hook with my shoulder.
    The son of a bitch loomed over me like he wanted me to kick him in the nuts in defense. I screamed into the phone, “somebody please help me!” But the cop threatened me, “one more move and I’ll hog-tie ya.”
    That’s when they charged me with assaulting not one but two officers. The jury heard nary a word about the over-dosing, cruel and unusual, etc. but they sure heard alot about Wendy’s depression and marijuana. The locals made a small out of court settlement to evade federal prosecution. They lost my evidence photos of brutality and documented such. Is that not evidence tampering?
    Some sadistic looser watched my cowardly beating on surveillance tape but I still was deprived the absolute evidence of two creeps flinging my body like a rag doll. I swear to God I did not provoke that bastard who looked liked he was tweeked out of his mind on meth. Come to find out he is a chronic alocoholic on meth or at least I was told so. The greatest moral story here is that I am giving it freely for the good of all. It won’t happen again to anybody I pray.
    No one in Utah even goes to jail any longer for simple possession. Oh Praise and Thank The Lord for that stride of progress. Amen.

  5. 54 Wendy from Good ‘ole Utah……..Manny here!
    I hope you won that money in Las Vegas!
    Las Vegas was discovered by Mormons, and was made possible by Mormon bankers. I’m sure you’re familiar with Zion Bankin/Nevada State Bank…and…Smith’s Food King. Good for you.
    As far as your small town is concerned…Heavenly Father will deal with them. I know revenge is a dish bets served cold…but…think about it. Isn’t this alky/drugie paying for it…as we speak. His condition
    will take care of him…your justice eats away at him every breath he takes. He really needs a prayer, although a good ass whoopin’ might set him on the right path. Right…NOT!

  6. I don’t get the whole crap ass excuses politicians use.
    I mean, just because a large amount of tax payer money goes to the government or state when people mess up and get arrested/ticketed is no reason to keep it going.
    People might actually WANT to be cops if they stopped bs’ing everyone with this nonsense like “Obviously pot smoking makes you a psycho, and it’s obvious alcohol has nothing to do with causing people to go crazy”.
    There are only 2 or 3 sources that benefit from it.
    1)The people who get the money ticketed/arrested people pay.
    2)The alcohol and tobacco companies.
    3)The media. Because the more BS these idiots make up, the easier it is for them to sell papers and news times.
    I mean, imagine it. We could have a law enforcement and military that wasn’t full of people that do crack, coke or heroin/meth due to the shorter period of being in the blood. Not saying it’s entirely like that, but it’s not like you meet to many normal people in a line of work like that, BUT WE COULD!
    If I could smoke weed and be a cop, without having to lie about it(Because, then that would take away the whole point of fighting for justice and HONESTY), it would be like a dream come true!

  7. 57 Wendy
    Well! We know that you are lucky…and…we know you have a gaurdian angel. I can see that you also have Equilibrium of the Soul. Lifes great if you don’t weaken. You have a blessing…cherish it. Use your
    blessed self to advance the Will of God, and his Holy Sacrament. You will receive his/her grace.

  8. P.S. Manny not one single solitary person has ever spoken out a single solitary word about what was done to me. You are the first and only person to acknowledge the wrong done to me. And yes I know that Vengeance Is Mine Sayeth The Lord. Of course I pray for mercy on their souls. Amen.

  9. Hey ya’ll…I just had a wild thought! I know wild thoughts usally end up in the wild waste basket…
    but…for the moment…this came to me at CDXX Communion. A lot thoughts come to me during meditation.
    Why don’t we start a campaign to build a MEMORIAL WALL that would name all the warriors that have died while incarcerated, or defending our freedom to have, hold, and consume cannabis. Why don’t we build it in Washington D.C. It’s D.C. that makes it wild.
    Well! it could happen.

    “Wendy Has Always Wanted To Visit The Statue of
    Liberty…I N N E W Y O R K C I T Y….
    …..Now She’ll Just Build One Of Her Own …
    …..In Her Own Back Yard!!!~~YEAH MANNY WE DID IT!!
    C O M E O N N O W L E T ‘ S H E A R I T!!!!
    THE WAR ON HEMP HAS BEEN WON!!! So stand up and cheer.

  11. Warrior Wendy…..Manny here!
    When you say…Ooooooh!…someone might be listening and accuse me of delussional thinking…the “only reply” I would have to that is,,,”They must have me confused with someone who gives a shit.” If Washington
    D.C. sends shivers up their spines…then…the fact
    that our founding fathers grew and smoked hemp
    right were they are shivering should cause them to evacuate the mall, or go to defcon 5.
    Ya know…an even better thought would be to build a memorial in California. That would be appropriate…
    because…California started this whole war…and…
    California is going to end it. I just happen to know where there is 20 acres of prime historical land…
    perfect for a TRIBUTE TO THE FALLEN SOLDIERS WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR US IN THIS WAR. I of course will give this a great deal more thought.
    Wendy…Today at CDXX Communion…”WITHIN”…God and I will work on it. Satan will just have to go pick on his own…because…as you well know…”FUCK HIM IF HE CAN’T TAKE A JOKE.” Besides…Louie is with me constantly. Don’t worry about that.
    God’s love be within you.

  12. “Study Debunks (U.F.O.’s) woops! I mean…
    now please let me start over now ya ‘all hear?
    “Study Debunks Claim That Jackpot woops! now dang it there it is again..
    Study Debunks Claim That Pot Smoking Causes Mental Illness. ~~~~(>^_^<)~~~~~

  13. Wendy Warrior
    The study may debunk Mental illness…unless mental illnes includes, pot-phobic prohibs driving us
    crazy. What are we…prohib-phobic pot-heads. I sure hope so. What kind of a diagnosis is that pray tell.
    It’s an external disorder of an internal manifistaion.

  14. Wendy
    Getting well is what it’s all about. Ya know…a Genesist’s Trinity is LOVE * LIFE * TRUTH. Follow your Soul to the Trinity, and you will find joy and fulfillment…but…most of all…you will find Equilibriun of the Soul…which is balance with your spirit and God’s spirit.

  15. Well I am one of the many for a long time who you couldn’t convince that Anything was wrong with marijuana until recently. I am 30 years old and I had been smoking daily for about 15 years. I have stopped for about 5 days now lol although. And for the past 3 or 4 years I had been noticing small symptoms of paranoia that has slightly increased over time. At first I took these symptoms as maybe I’m high and just tripping. But after reflecting on it and watching it increased I am convinced that long term use can lead to mental illness. After seeing some of my closest friends who also have been smoking for over 10 years become lazy antisocial insecure paranoid and some of them suicidal and over time it has really freaked me out and caused me to stop. Most of the people I know who suffer from these symptoms including used weed on a daily basis over a long period of time. I believe that most social smokers don’t suffer from these symptoms. So yes of course anything you abuse does become a serious problem to your health mentally and physically.The sad part is I’m from what’s considered the ghetto and weed is part of our culture and most of us don’t have access to therapy and we drown our problems in marijuana which eventually slows our motivation to solve these problems and then causes regret for not acting on those problems and then brings insecurity in yourself which causes social problems.

  16. … this article should be used as a quintessential evidence axiom of how substance induced mental illness gets imparted on the public unabated

  17. Age 75. Never used drugs. 1/3 medicinal cookie in PM twice a week helps bipolar discomfort. Calms and creates positive attitudes. I’m beginning to leave behind past trama and live more in the moment. Increases appetite (wt. 104), makes life bearable. No negative or extreme effects. Would not use street drugs. Very careful use.
    Why could this be harmful at my age?

  18. Pingback: Marijuana - Page 4
  19. THE MYTH THAT WILL NOT DIE. Now it’s problems in the adolescent brain!!! Yet for 4000 years women used marijuana for morning sickness and never a peep that the babies born to those women had any kinds of problems.
    How do we explain that?

  20. Throughout my life I’ve had 3 friends who have all serious mental health episode which left them being shadows of their former selves. All 3 were regular heavy users of cannabis for many years and were placed in institutions for a brief period after their episodes. I personally feel that is is down to the individual as to how cannabis affects them mentally. I have lots of other friends who smoke regularly but with no mental health effects.

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