Major depression, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts are up to 3 times higher in cannabis dependent persons according to a recent study in Queensland.
In particular the earlier that cannabis is used the higher the risk of depression and suicide activity.
(Source: Queensland Institute of Medical Research, twins study, 2004)
Even stronger links between cannabis use and depression and suicides was found in medical research in Trinidad.
The University of West Indies study concluded that there is a convincing relationship between suicidal behaviour and cannabis use.
Cannabis use awakens psychotic experiences and depression that leads to suicidal thoughts and suicide in adolescents.
Like Australia, the Caribbean Islands have high cannabis use and suicide rates.
(Source: Scientific World Journal, 8 August 2005, p576-585)
These studies of the link between cannabis use and depression and suicide confirm earlier studies.
Australia’s proposed Cannabis Strategy must use these studies and others on the link with other mental illnesses to reduce the high number of children and young adults that use cannabis.
Recent surveys reveal that half of all young Australians in their early twenties have used cannabis at some time.
Australia MUST reduce its drug using population by providing voluntary or court ordered detoxification and rehabilitation for cannabis users.
Laws that allow cannabis plant cultivation and tolerate cannabis use need to be reversed in favour of helping cannabis users kick their habit.