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  1. searcher
    Youngsters who use marijuana are more likely to develop serious mental health problem
    Last update: May 4, 2005 at 6:25 AM
    Feds Sound New Warning About Marijuana Use
    By PAULINE JELINEK, Associated Press Writer
    May 4, 2005 0504AP-MARIJUANA-WAR



    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.

    Associated Press reporter Kevin Freking contributed to this story.

Comments

  1. Creeping Death
    i smoked the first time when i was twelve. its been on and off from then untill now. i think that i do have some kind of mental illness, but thats because of my life. if it hadnt been for discovering drugs i would be way worse off.
  2. korky8097
    i think we should contact NORML, start a donation drive, and have them
    go to a lab and run a test of their own. Then share the real
    truth about it all rather than the goverments exadurations. I
    mean they ran tests about St. Johns wort and how its not an effective
    anti-depresant, the lab proved so but in doing this they proved 2 or 3
    other of the leading anti-depressants were just as ineffective as st.
    johns, but they decided to leave that part out. Im sure they are
    leaving something out in this as well. Do you really think they
    are
    gonna release information saying that marijuana isnt that bad for
    you? I read an article similar to that today, well half of it, i
    kept thinking how much BS most of it was so i just skipped the rest.
  3. dopefiend
    "For the first time, more kids are seeking treatment for marijuana use than alcohol,"



    And how many of these kids actually "seek" the treatment? I'd bet my
    last dollar 1 in 1000 kids who are in marijuana rehabilitation are
    there against their own will. I don't condone anyone under 19 smoking
    pot just as i don't condone them drinking but as we all know
    "kids will be kids" and the best thing i could see would be to educate
    parents more about the dangers of thier children abusing alcohol
    (something deemed acceptable in most homes) as opposed to brainwashing
    them against a safer alternative.



    When i was growing up (even as young as 13) my parents always told me
    they didnt agree with me using intoxicants but if i was going to they'd
    rather see me smoke a joint than pick up a bottle. In my opinion
    alcohol causes mroe damage to a young persons body and mind than
    marijuana ever could.



    Peace,

    Jesse
  4. antigenesis


    I totally agree with you. I mean hell, look at a drunk, then look at a
    stoner, I really don't think I have to clarify from there.
  5. enquirewithin
    Moredishonest government [​IMG]propaganda from a government whichsponsors violence andcorruption in other countries and targets its own youth at home. Edited by: enquirewithin
  6. elina
    i absolutely agree with you, guys.


    Moreover - chronic alcoholism causes much more physical damage than weed smoking (see "Why should marijuana be legal?")


    As for the psychological effects:


    a) schizofrenia is a psychosis = mental illness where a person looses ability to evaluate reality correctly.its a well known factin psychiatrythat schizofrenia is mainly hereditary and drug abuse mightonly be the TRIGGER for the first sch. attackbut not the cause of it.


    b) depression, on the other hand, is a neurosis = a person has problems adjusting to reality but no problems with evaluating it. Depressed people dont have hallucinations and delussions (except of bipolar depression, which is a psychosis). Yes, there is a possibility of marijuana influencing serotonine level therefore causing a depressed mood, but this is not a long-lasting effect. On the other hand, dozens of people are depressed without trying the pot, and its really hard to find connection, correlation and cause-and-effect in case ofmarijuana and depression.


    But when society, law, policy and "science" cooperate together, they will publish lots of "researchs" like that about mj. Unfortunately, theywould "forget" about the alcohol. They would make heroin addicts take methadone, which was invented by Adolf Hitler and which will eventually harm their health... why? because profit is more important.


    Am i depressed? may be.


    Am i loosing the connection to reality? i dont think so.
  7. drwoo
    I just wanted to point out that methadone wasn't actually invented my Adolf Hitler though it was discovered in Germany in 1939. It wasn't Hitler himself who discovered it, just scientists of his regime.
  8. elina
    right - i just checked it out in google [​IMG]
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