NYTimes: Does Marijuana Use Cause Schizophrenia?

Image: 1936 “Reefer Madness”

The following is an excerpt from the New York Times on a recent article titled, “Does Marijuana Use Cause Schizophrenia?”

I wonder how “closed hospitals” can be full of Black men that became insane because of smoking pot? The author, Benedict Carey, says it is common practice for Black men to be “locked up and the key thrown away” in England because of cannabis derived insanity? I very much doubt it. But I do know that countless studies have shown that our prisons are full of Black men whose only crimes were being found carrying a joint and not being able to afford a lawyer.

-Dr. Ostrow

Does Marijuana Use Cause Schizophrenia?

By Benedict Carey – Read full article at NYTimes.com

As the drug becomes more popular, concerns have been raised that its use can lead to psychotic disorders. Here’s what scientists know for sure, and what they don’t.Cannabis plants in a lab at Niagara College in Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario. As marijuana use becomes more widespread and varied, some people worry that its more potent versions can cause or exacerbate mental illness.CreditCarlos Osorio/Reuter

Nearly a century after the film “Reefer Madness” alarmed the nation, some policymakers and doctors are again becoming concerned about the dangers of marijuana, although the reefers are long gone.

Experts now distinguish between the “new cannabis” — legal, highly potent, available in tabs, edibles and vapes — and the old version, a far milder weed passed around in joints. Levels of T.H.C., the chemical that produces marijuana’s high, have been rising for at least three decades, and it’s now possible in some states to buy vape cartridges containing little but the active ingredient.

The concern is focused largely on the link between heavy usage and psychosis in young people. Doctors first suspected a link some 70 years ago, and the evidence has only accumulated since then. In a forthcoming book, “Tell Your Children,” Alex Berenson, a former Times reporter, argues that legalization is putting a generation at higher risk of schizophrenia and other psychotic syndromes. Critics, including leading researchers, have called the argument overblown, and unfaithful to the science.
…Read full article at NYTimes.com