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Cannabis (Addiction): An Apology

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Speaking of drug industry, check out the post on drugs I am about to post...

25,000  of the 250,000 with schezphrenia could avoided the illness if they had not smoked?   That is a far out statement and shows why I have always considered psychiatry more of  a pseudo than real science.  Truthfully the use of approved??? psychotrophics sp? in that discipline is very scary!!  I will take the pot smoker any day over what the psychiatric industry provides to the population with its medications.

Funding must be drying up!    (just another opinion on the reason for the article)

13,000??  Wow that is huge??   Now lets look at the average number of deaths due to improper pharmaceutical use by hospitals alone in the US every year...

Sorry too vague for me... too may unanswered questions on how these figures and conclusions were arrived at.

As to the rankings??  Just doesn't look that scientific to me..  Truthfully, it has to be hard to diagnose any of this stuff let alone the cause of it.

It appears that this is our only disagreement on the articles you posted.  I question "validity" of the research and "the agenda" of the authors as well as the rather "interesting conclusions" reached.


Cannabis: An apology

In 1997, this newspaper launched a campaign to decriminalise the drug. If only we had known then what we can reveal today...

By Jonathan Owen
Published: 18 March 2007

Record numbers of teenagers are requiring drug treatment as a result of smoking skunk, the highly potent cannabis strain that is 25 times stronger than resin sold a decade ago.

More than 22,000 people were treated last year for cannabis addiction - and almost half of those affected were under 18. With doctors and drugs experts warning that skunk can be as damaging as cocaine and heroin, leading to mental health problems and psychosis for thousands of teenagers, The Independent on Sunday has today reversed its landmark campaign for cannabis use to be decriminalised.

A decade after this newspaper's stance culminated in a 16,000-strong pro-cannabis march to London's Hyde Park - and was credited with forcing the Government to downgrade the legal status of cannabis to class C - an IoS editorial states that there is growing proof that skunk causes mental illness and psychosis.

The decision comes as statistics from the NHS National Treatment Agency show that the number of young people in treatment almost doubled from about 5,000 in 2005 to 9,600 in 2006, and that 13,000 adults also needed treatment.

The skunk smoked by the majority of young Britons bears no relation to traditional cannabis resin - with a 25-fold increase in the amount of the main psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabidinol (THC), typically found in the early 1990s. New research being published in this week's Lancet will show how cannabis is more dangerous than LSD and ecstasy. Experts analysed 20 substances for addictiveness, social harm and physical damage. The results will increase the pressure on the Government to have a full debate on drugs, and a new independent UK drug policy commission being launched next month will call for a rethink on the issue.

The findings last night reignited the debate about cannabis use, with a growing number of specialists saying that the drug bears no relation to the substance most law-makers would recognise. Professor Colin Blakemore, chief of the Medical Research Council, who backed our original campaign for cannabis to be decriminalised, has also changed his mind.

He said: "The link between cannabis and psychosis is quite clear now; it wasn't 10 years ago."

Many medical specialists agree that the debate has changed. Robin Murray, professor of psychiatry at London's Institute of Psychiatry, estimates that at least 25,000 of the 250,000 schizophrenics in the UK could have avoided the illness if they had not used cannabis. "The number of people taking cannabis may not be rising, but what people are taking is much more powerful, so there is a question of whether a few years on we may see more people getting ill as a consequence of that."

"Society has seriously underestimated how dangerous cannabis really is," said Professor Neil McKeganey, from Glasgow University's Centre for Drug Misuse Research. "We could well see over the next 10 years increasing numbers of young people in serious difficulties."

Politicians have also hardened their stance. David Cameron, the Conservative leader, has changed his mind over the classification of cannabis, after backing successful calls to downgrade the drug from B to C in 2002. He abandoned that position last year, before the IoS revealed that he had smoked cannabis as a teenager, and now wants the drug's original classification to be restored.

I've been reading about the way growers are evolving their breding stock of plants towards more and more potent strains of cannabis - but of course since evolution doesn't occur I'm sure this whole article is a myth.

Boid Fink:


--- Quote from: dalbuc on April 05, 2007, 01:50:11 PM ---I've been reading about the way growers are evolving their breding stock of plants towards more
and more potent strains of cannabis -

--- End quote ---

Seems like your growers are the intelligent designers there. The gods of pot.

I like Max Power...

I am for the legalization of most drugs.

I have never used pot or any illegal substance. Tried Salvia twice.

Feedback from users of skunk would be nice.

The Independent responded to the negative feedback they received from that article....

Leading article: The cannabis debate
Published: 25 March 2007

Our front-page headline last week, "Cannabis: an apology", certainly grabbed the attention of a lot of people. No issue since the Iraq war has provoked such a reaction from our readers and from other media. Today we publish a selection of letters, including many from people dismayed by our repudiation of our 1997 campaign to decriminalise cannabis.

Our front page was no mere attention-seeking device, however. The Independent on Sunday has changed its view because of the growing weight of evidence that cannabis contributes to mental illness. Yes, we sought to dramatise that change, not least in order to question some outdated assumptions and suggest people look again at the latest evidence.

It may be, though, that last week's headline did not do full justice to our special report. Certainly some of the journalists who contacted our office to follow up the story of our "U-turn" had not read much beyond the headline. Our "apology" was not a complete reversal of everything this newspaper stands for, or a repudiation of our fundamental liberal values. We still believe that adults should be free to live their lives as long as they cause others no harm. But the argument about the harm caused to family, friends and the wider society by cannabis-induced psychosis has changed. As we made clear in this space last week, what was a law-enforcement argument about priorities in 1997 has become, in 2007, a medical debate about mental health. Two things changed in the intervening 10 years: one was the increasing evidence that cannabis is a trigger factor in psychosis, especially for males, with the risk greater the younger cannabis use starts and the stronger the dose; the other was the big switch to high-strength "skunk".

Some of our readers doubt the medical evidence, and suggest that the growth in reporting of mental illness might have suggested causation where none exists, or even that those who are susceptible to mental illness would be more likely to misuse cannabis. We would urge them to read the testimony, on page 43, of Julie Lynn-Evans, a child psychotherapist with extensive experience in the field, which makes persuasive reading.

Others noted the Lancet study last week that compiled an "index of harm" for a number of mood-altering drugs, legal and illegal. Cannabis was ranked in the middle of the table, as more harmful than ecstasy and less harmful than either alcohol or tobacco. Two fallacious arguments are made on the basis of this kind of ranking. One is that cannabis should be legalised because more harmful drugs are already legal. That is a bit like the argument, which this newspaper never made, that we should not invade Iraq because North Korea was a worse tyranny. The other is that the risks of taking cannabis - or ecstasy - are low. There is a difference between overall "harm" and individual risk. Last week, another teenager died after taking ecstasy. And if you are among the one in four who is susceptible, to use cannabis, especially at a young age, is to take a terrible risk with your mental health.

Nor is our position the only one that has changed over the past decade. We hear much less of the "war on drugs" from the Government now, and the emphasis of public policy is much more focused on information, education and harm reduction. That is how it should be, and we should say so.


--- Quote from: Max Power on April 05, 2007, 02:20:57 PM ---Really imaginative article though. I guess according to this article stronger weed somehow causes it to be addictive. I'm not going to try to tell you guys what to think about this article, I'll leave that to the government.
--- End quote ---

This is not about the government. It's about a newspaper changing their tune after ten years.
I the number 22,000 treated for cannabis addiction a bogus number to you?

I don't support making it illegal. Make it legal, regulate it and warn people about the dangers
from the stronger skunk stuff.

Worse is that most of the people in this list aren't part of the "government". The Lancet is hardly a poorly respected medical journal and, if anything, the politics in it it run left-wing if you believe the right-wingers so they're not out to get the dope-heads.


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