Cannabis use is a risk factor for the development of incidence psychotic symptoms.
Cannabis use precedes the onset of psychotic symptoms in individuals with no previous history of psychotic experiences.
Cannabis use was associated with psychotic experience four years later.
The psychotic experiences included paranoia and hallucinations.
This 10 year study involving over 2000 young adults shows cannabis use as the cause of the psychosis.
(Source: Continued cannabis use and risk of incidence and persistence of psychotic symptoms: 10 year follow up cohort study. British Medical Journal 2011:342d738)
Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in Australia so the link with psychosis, mental illness and schizophrenia is disturbing.
Clearly mental illness in Australian young adults will cause many problems for these users now and in years to come.
As well, the cost to the Australian community in caring for these cannabis users, the impact on road safety and health costs will be substantial.
Surely getting Australian cannabis users off using cannabis must be a key priority of all authorities.
All Australian identified drug users should be diverted into court ordered and supervised detoxification and rehabilitation to get the users free of drug use quickly and permanently.