dire threat from "Skunk," a potent pot strain, British lawmakers last
year stiffened cannabis laws in the U.K. A team of researchers had
fanned the flames in the July 28, 2007 issue of prestigious scientific
journal The Lancet, proclaiming that smoking Marijuana could boost one's risk of a "psychotic episode" by 40 percent or more.
one fell swoop Marijuana possession was reclassified from a verbal
warning to a criminal offense punishable by up to five years in prison.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, ex-Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, and
others cited the supposed 'pot-schizophrenia link' as a major reason
for the giant step backward.
study, British investigators at Keele University Medical School
compared trends in cannabis use and instances of schizophrenia in the
United Kingdom from 1996 to 2005. The research showed that even as
Marijuana use soared among the general population, "incidence and
prevalence of schizophrenia and psychoses were either stable or
declining" during this period.
concluded that an expected rise in diagnoses of schizophrenia and
psychoses did not occur over the decade under study. "This study does
not therefore support the ... link between cannabis use and incidence
of psychotic disorders," the study concludes, adding "This concurs with
other reports indicating that increases in population cannabis use have
not been followed by increases in psychotic incidence."
published earlier this month indicate that the recreational use of
Marijuana does not affect brain chemistry in a way that is consistent
with the development of schizophrenia.
we expect an apology -- or even better, a change in policy -- from the
Gordon Brown regime any time soon? Or at the very least, will some sort
of 'correction' be forthcoming from the mainstream news media?" asked Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). "I wouldn't hold my breath."