Cannabis link to mental illness

Smoking cannabis can treble the risk of developing mental illness a three year Dutch study of 4000 users has found.

Research by the University of Maastricht on the long term effects of cannabis prove it causes serious psychotic disorders like hallucinations, paranoia, maniac depression and schizophrenia.

The risk increases with the amount of cannabis smoked.

The Institute of Psychiatry in London disclosed that 90% of patients showing a first episode of psychosis had smoked cannabis.

The British Medical Association warned the Dutch study showed that softer laws leads to increased use of cannabis.

There is more research from New Zealand, Sweden and Israel to be published that will show the same results as the Dutch study.

A recent Japanese study showed evidence that cannabis can cause genetic abnormalities associated with mental illness.

Other studies have shown that under 18 year olds using cannabis are six times more at risk of developing schizophrenia in later life.

Scientists think that it's the brain's ability to deal with the THC in cannabis that causes the psychotic experience.

(Source: American Journal of Epidemiology in Daily Telegraph 26/8/02.)

DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL COMMENTS-

Cannabis use is very dangerous and leads to more mental illness.

Cannabis users need to rehabilitate themselves to a drug free lifestyle.