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Old 05-03-2005, 10:21 PM   #1
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New Warning About Marijuana Use

New Warning About Marijuana Use
http://cbs2chicago.com/health/health...124003813.html

Pot Smoking Youngsters Could Develop Serious Mental Health Problems

May 3, 2005 11:33 pm US/Central
WASHINGTON (AP) Youngsters who use marijuana are more likely to develop serious mental health problems, the government said Tuesday. A private group said law enforcement increasingly is targeting people who smoke and deal the drug.

Past medical studies have linked marijuana with a greater incidence of mental disorders such as depression or schizophrenia. But questions remain about whether people who smoke marijuana at a young age are already predisposed to mental disorders, or whether the drug caused those disorders.

Government officials say recent research makes a stronger case that smoking marijuana is itself a causal agent in psychiatric symptoms, particularly schizophrenia.

"A growing body of evidence now demonstrates that smoking marijuana can increase the risk of serious mental health problems," said John P. Walters, director of the White House Office of Drug Control Policy.

Administration officials pointed to a handful of studies to make their case. One, from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, found adult marijuana smokers who first began using the drug before age 12 were twice as likely to have suffered a serious mental illness in the past year as those who began smoking after 18.

The ratio was 21 percent to 10.5 percent. Those who first started as teens also were at significantly higher risk.

Also Tuesday, The Sentencing Project released a report that found the government's "war on drugs" has become the "war on drug" as police agencies increasingly target marijuana.

Begun in the 1980s, the war on drugs was aimed at stopping large-scale narcotics traffickers, particularly those selling cocaine. But since 1990 more of the focus has been on catching users and low-level dealers. And more often than ever, the drug targeted is marijuana, according to the group, a national nonprofit organization that works on judicial reform and favors alternatives to jail.

Of some 700,000 marijuana arrests in 2002, 88 percent were for possession, it said. And only one of every 18 of those arrests ended in a felony conviction.

"Arresting record numbers of low-level marijuana offenders represents a poor investment in public safety" and diverts resources from "more serious crime problems," said Ryan King, co-author of the report.

King found that in 1992 arrests for heroin and cocaine comprised 55 percent of all drug arrests and marijuana 28 percent. A decade later heroin and cocaine arrests accounted for less than 30 percent of all arrests, while marijuana's share had risen to 45 percent.

Jennifer deVallance, spokeswoman for the White House drug office, said there are many reasons for the greater focus on marijuana. Among them: Marijuana is the single largest drug of abuse in the nation, the strains are more potent than ever and more is known about health dangers.

"For the first time, more kids are seeking treatment for marijuana use than alcohol," she said.

The Sentencing Project called for renewed national discussion of the war on drugs, an idea echoed by the conservative American Enterprise Institute. The group reported last month that despite spending at about $40 billion a year now and toughening drug sentencing laws, "America continues to experience the Western world's worst drug problems."

An epidemic of heroin use more than three decades ago, followed by a 1980s epidemic of cocaine and crack, prompted a massive intensification in drug enforcement while giving short shrift to prevention and treatment, the institute reported. It decried budgeting that spends two-thirds of drug control funds on enforcement, 25 percent on treatment and just 12 percent on prevention.
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Old 05-03-2005, 10:23 PM   #2
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nice!
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Old 05-03-2005, 10:28 PM   #3
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It would be funny if they found the drug causes diarrhea.
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Old 05-04-2005, 05:11 AM   #4
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does marijuana "cause" mental problems, or are people with mental problems drawn to the use and abuse of even generally harmless drugs like marijuana? the article doesn't answer that question except to have a quotation from a member of the Bush White House (who certainly has a stake in ratcheting up fear and paranoia around pot so they can implement such social right wing poliices as federal drug testing in schools and ever-widen the Right Wing Nanny State) asserting "yes," with no evidence to back it up.
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Old 05-04-2005, 05:19 AM   #5
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There is considerable evidence that marijuana use can trigger severe mental problems in teenagers and long term use can ruin the mind. I have an uncle who has smoked dope for decades and it hasn't done him any favours. Minor use of this stuff is fine in 99% of cases sure, but when used heavily or used by the wrong person it can cause problems, not worth dismissing it all as a pack of Bush WH lies.

Just with a quick google I found these.

http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/up...ate0503c.shtml

http://www.newscientist.com/channel/...mg18524921.300

I think that conservative nanny state may be a more apt description than right wing nanny state.
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Old 05-04-2005, 05:49 AM   #6
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I think alot of emotionally unstable people are attracted to marijuana, but it has destabilizing qualities to it. People must want to go to rehab to stop, so I wouldn't write it off as harmless.
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Old 05-04-2005, 06:47 AM   #7
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remember, this is a White House that doesn't believe in Global Warming and has a difficult relationship with science, to say the least. that's all i'm saying.

i'm also saying that there's no way that marijuana is necessarily good -- except for glaucoma, cancer patients, and some people use it for anxiety -- but i don't think it's any worse than alcohol. in fact, stoners tend not to get into fights after football games or commit date rape, and while one obviously shouldn't drive while stoned, you'd have a tough time equivocating that with drinking and driving.

though it does seem logical that doing a drug, or drinking, before the age of 12 will severely impair thinking and mental stability long term ... why, just look at that adorable but utterly crazy Drew Barrymore ...
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Old 05-04-2005, 07:39 AM   #8
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Pot has been smoked for a long time now. Some people may get this or that problem, but maybe they would anyway. I don't see how it's all connected, people who don't smoke it have problems like that too.
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Old 05-04-2005, 09:04 AM   #9
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hmm, this is all so familiar.....Reefer Madness!!!! greatest film ever
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Old 05-04-2005, 07:54 PM   #10
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Well....some people die eating peanuts. Perhaps we should bust all those mom peanut butter pushers.

I just don't think it's a big enough problem to get so many shorts in a twist over. The vast majority of post smokers have few or no problems with it.
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Old 05-04-2005, 08:00 PM   #11
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I have heard some people say they'd have mental problems if they didn't have a joint once in awhile
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Old 05-04-2005, 09:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Seabird
I have heard some people say they'd have mental problems if they didn't have a joint once in awhile
People go nuts when they're addicted to something. Tobacco demonstrates that constantly.
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Old 05-04-2005, 09:52 PM   #13
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Ahhh weed, the thing your drug czar is so scared of.

I seen a news report the other day on how he is saying that if Canada ever de-criminalized weed there would be big back ups at the border!

It really is funny, how a drug that is so harmless when compared to anything else invokes so much emotion from some people.

My prediction, 15 years from now, weed will be something that can be smoked freely, grown by gov'ts. sold in 7/11's for the simple fact that there wont be many people who give a shit anymore!
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Old 05-04-2005, 09:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
remember, this is a White House that doesn't believe in Global Warming and has a difficult relationship with science, to say the least. that's all i'm saying.

i'm also saying that there's no way that marijuana is necessarily good -- except for glaucoma, cancer patients, and some people use it for anxiety -- but i don't think it's any worse than alcohol. in fact, stoners tend not to get into fights after football games or commit date rape, and while one obviously shouldn't drive while stoned, you'd have a tough time equivocating that with drinking and driving.

though it does seem logical that doing a drug, or drinking, before the age of 12 will severely impair thinking and mental stability long term ... why, just look at that adorable but utterly crazy Drew Barrymore ...
My main objection to this post is that it seems to imply that the White House has one man inside it who does all the research or, more accurately said, jumps to conclusions. As listed in the article, it is in fact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration that works in this field, not particularly the "White House that doesn't believe in global warming."
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Old 05-05-2005, 05:26 AM   #15
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My father is a doctor, and his opinion on pot is simple. It's no good, but a joint is far, far, far better than 10 beers and half a pack of cigarettes.
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