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12 COMMENTS

  1. I AGREE WITH OLDHEAD. This series of articles is sensationalism, akin to Reefer Madness type propaganda. There are numerous methodological flaws–not surprising from a NAMI type group
    of parents whose agenda seems to be to stop their children from using any drugs. These anecdotes do not prove the individuals described were not already troubled before they used “pot.” The statisticsw for Colorado are dubious in light of other data. I quote from American Journal of Public Health, 2014.Here is link,http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/835272_4
    “The graphical analysis provided evidence that, before legalization, male suicides in the treated states evolved in a similar fashion to male suicides in the control states. After legalization, these trends diverged. Specifically, the male suicide rate in medical marijuana states fell, but the male suicide rate increased, albeit modestly, in the control states. Formal estimates obtained with regression analysis were consistent with the graphical analysis. These estimates suggested that the legalization of medical marijuana was associated with a 9.2% to 10.8% decrease in the suicide rate of men aged 20 through 29 years, and a 9.4% to 13.7% decrease in the suicide rate of men aged 30 through 39 years. These estimates were generally robust to adjustment for linear time trends at the state level. ”
    This is a more trustworthy and objective survey, than that done by group of over-conjtrolling parents opposed to all use– even responsible use of marijuana.

  2. “Tron Dohse was a young adult featured in the same evening news report that reported about Clark and Juarez. He overdosed on marijuana and fell to his death while trying to climb a building. OVERDOSED on pot? Give me a fn break! Oh from what I just read, the three main ones they talked about. One fell and another tried to climb and fell also! The other one it didn’t say it just said pot was the reason! Haven’t read one where they actually killed themselves. Like shooting themselves! Got high and fell? We used to climb billboards and climb radio towers when I was a teenager. Did drugs as a teenager that make pot seem like candy so this is BS! The kids I knew that killed themselves were all after they went to treatment and were told they had a “disease”! one overdosed on purpose, two shot themselves and one drove his car into a bridge on purpose! Not one wanted to die when they got to treatment. Just after their teenage minds couldn’t handle the disease thing! The disease model of addiction has killed more that I knew than anything else!

  3. This article is sheer propaganda. We are expected to believe these victims of marijuana use had no strong pre-existing emotional problems, just because the author asserts it. A veteran, returning from a brutal war in which 23 vets a day commit suicide.. has no problems??
    Who could trust parents who want to make marijuana illegal SO THEIR CHILDREN WILL NOT SMOKE IT?? That is itself a indication to me that there IS a problem. The problem is with the parents.I have seen families like this –usually they will fight like hell to keep their kids on PSYCHIATRIC drugs.These are the kind of “normal” families R D.Laing wrote about–the normal parents are crazy as hell–every word out of their mouths seems as if it was scripted and they are TERRIFIED of their teenage or young adult children’s autonomy! See Sanity, Madness and the Family.

  4. It is perfectly in keeping with Whitaker’s book, Anatomy of an Epidemic, to show that drug use creates mental illness. Though he doesn’t specifically mention suicide, he cites on p. 180, studies that show 33% to 66% of new bipolar cases were triggered by marijuana or other drug use. In Great Britain, marijuana was reclassified and then when the resulting increase in mental illness occurred, it went back to previous classification. Plus the recent National Academy of Sciences study by scientists said that marijuana use does trigger both heart attacks and schizophrenia.

    The people on this line of comments sound very close minded. Many people have watched a loved one whose mental illness started with the use of drugs. Who is in denial here? Those who claim psychotropic drugs are harmless. Here is a new study which shows veterans who use cannabis are more likely to commit suicide: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28295524

  5. Jewelfs, Do you think it is realistic or desirable to wipe out all recreation or experimental drug use among young people? How about pre-marital sex?. Should that be discouraged also?.

    Drug use does not create “mental illness. I could only read the abstract of the study you cite as I am not a member of PubMed but the abstract does not say that veterans who use cannabis are more likely to commit suicide.

    It says their is a correlation of cannabis use DISORDER and suicidal or non suicidal injury. Correlation does not mean causation. We might expect that someone who is suicidal would be more likely to do drugs–to do excessive drugs. I would bet you would find as high a correlation with excessive use of alcohol. I do not know how CUD is defined.

    But lets look at this intelligently. A vet who has been in Iraq and /OR Afghanistan and has CUD is I would bet likely to have been traumatized in the war–I think most vets have been, for various reasons–mostly the high number of innocent non-combatants they often find themselves killing.
    Is it therapeutic or harmless for traumatized unusually vulnerable vets to smoke lots of marijuana? No, of course not. What I would like to know how does the correlation of CUD and suicide compare to the daily (doctor-prescribed) use of SSRIs and suicide. I would bet the latter is higher—even controlling for “depression.”

    Although a drug like LSD has been demonstrated to have a therapeutic effect(see Stan Grof) that is only when it is used under careful supervision in controlled situations. I do not know what the veteran study concludes. But there is no evidence that marijuana is going to increase the risk of suicide in a non-traumatized population. There is evidence that SSRIs anti-depressants which are routinely prescribed will increase the suicide risk among “normal populations.

    You have the same ambiguity in the studies Bob cites,p.180. We do not know to what degree marijuana is causal. But we do know that marijuana use peaked in late 60s and 70s whereas bipolar epidemic burgeoned later. I think the data would lead the cautious researcher to advocate cautious use of recreation drugs.l Taking drugs, like having drinking, and non marital sex are integral parts of growing up. The majority of adults integrate moderate use of alcohol into their lives, and alcohol is far more dangerous (eg auto accidents) and harmful than marijuana.

    On the other hand, we know that long term use of anti-psychotics and long term use of SSRIs
    are harmful and are correlated with chronic patienthood. Parents ought to far more concerned about their children’s use of psychiatric drugs than of alcohol or marijuana. The latter like sex when approached with care can contribute to their lives–besides the negative aspects, they also have positive effects.

  6. There are many alternative treatments for vets with PTSD such as Dog Therapy and Horse Therapy, both preferable to using meds or using marijuana. In fact, Yale came out with a study that showed vets who used marijuana were less likely to recover from their PTSD and to become more violent. Marijuana does not get to the root of the problem, only treats symptoms. Masks the problem, doesn’t treat it. Same with SSRIs. So we need better treatments and these are available if you look. The only reason alcohol is more dangerous in terms of accidents is that more people use it. But now that people have been using pot for 4 years in Washington, around 23% of their fatal accidents involve drivers with marijuana in their system. You seem to be one who would prefer the mental health risks in using drugs because of the experiential benefits. I don’t believe these risks make it worth it, especially with very high-potency marijuana of today, in which people are going psychotic at higher rates than previously. Henry Cockburn, journalist Patrick Cockburn’s son smoked pot from ages 14-19 and then was diagnosed as schizophrenic at age 20. He could have killed himself. I don’t think it’s worth doing to yourself or to your family, forcing them to worry for your well-being. The point is that most teens don’t even know that they’re playing Russian Roulette by experimenting with pot and other drugs. They should at least know that they risk developing a psychotic disorder or becoming suicidal. Here’s Patrick and Henry Cockburn’s story. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1349398/Patrick-Cockburn-My-son-played-Russian-roulette-cannabis-lost.html

  7. Look you are avoiding the point just like Parents Opposed to Pot. There is no evidence presented that marijuana causes “psychosis” in the majority of users. Pre-psychotic persons may have a greater tendency to use marijuana.

    But my hunch is that neither marijuana nor heavy drinking are likely to be helpful to the majority of troubled persons.But Parents against Pot and you are making unwarranted claims in an effort to re-criminalize or prevent legalization and decriminalization of grass.

    Every one I knew smoked grass when I went to college early 1970s. Sometimes the pot would make one of us “paranoid”–a word carelessly used to denote anxiety that passed as the pot wore off. I did not know any one who smoked 5 marijuana cigarettes a day! My only friend who became psychotic had been smoking for a couple years before he had a breakdown. He also drank. The marijuana did not cause his breakdown. But the neuroleptics he took prevented his recovery.People who have been through wars and traumatized should not smoke pot, or take SSRIs.

    We smoked mostly on weekends when we did not have to go too school the next day. Marijuana contributed to my spiritual awakening-i saw the “crack in the coasmic egg.” I would smoke sometimes and read Kant or Hume, and see the world differently.There are very few jazz musicians who would not claim that marijuana contributed to their creativity as artists. All drugs should be used cautiously. Some should not be used at all by some people. And some
    should not be used at all on a regular or long term basis–such as “anti-psychotics” or SSRIs

    I never advocated marijuana as therapy. (I said LSD has shown some promise as a therapeutic tool –it was effective with prisoners and with non-psychotic persons.) Your claim that marijuana causes as many accidents as marijuana is absurd.It is well known marijuana does not have the same deleterious effects on coordination and risk-taking as alcohol. I do not believe that 25% of fatal accidents are people with marijuana in their system BUT NO ALCOHOL. Ai never heard of anyone stoned on pot alone who drove OVER the speed limit. Driving under the speed limit is far less dangerous. Most of us know the joke about the weed smoker stopped by the cop who think he’s stopped for speeding when he’s going 25 MPH. The problem with all your data–and of Parents against Pot–is it does not prove what you say it does.

    You write, ” Marijuana does not get to the root of the problem, only treats symptoms. Masks the problem, doesn’t treat it. Same with SSRIs. So we need better treatments and these are available if you look. The only reason alcohol is more dangerous in terms of accidents is that more people use it. But now that people have been using pot for 4 years in Washington, around 23% of their fatal accidents involve drivers with marijuana in their system.”

    . How come there is not a group called Parents against Neuroleptics or Parents against Anti-psychotics? Such a group would do a hell of a lot more good then this group of over-controlling parents who are fighting a war against the generation gap.
    Seth
    http://www.sethHfarber.com

  8. Funny how you say the “majority of users.” What about those in the minority? Why don’t you believe in protecting them? The majority of cigarette smokers don’t get lung cancer. I think it’s like 20%. But if it can happen ever, shouldn’t people be warned? Yes, they should be. You wrote about your college friend in the 70s who went psychotic. That was with the low THC pot of the 70s. It was 4% THC in 1980, and that was higher than the 70s. Now it’s all high THC pot today. In Denver, they wanted to cap the THC at 16%, and the marijuana industry objected. This is all high potency stuff, all “hard drug” material today.

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