U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris once infamously said that marijuana “gives a lot of people joy” and “we need more joy in the world.” What a ridiculously ill-informed statement. Sadly increased marijuana use among youths is leading to more addiction, schizophrenia and even violent behaviour. It’s misery not joy.
Ongoing and mounting research links marijuana use with depression, schizophrenia, and even violent aggression. The risk is even greater among youth, whose brains are still developing.
With widespread legalisation and normalisation of cannabis in many countries and US states, more youth are now consuming marijuana more frequently and in higher doses than ever before. Today’s marijuana is significantly more potent (with increased THC concentrations) than weed smoked by previous generations. This all leads to increased addiction, severe mental health issues, and antisocial behaviour.
According to SAMHSA “Approximately 1 in 10 people who use marijuana will become addicted. When they start before age 18, the rate of addiction rises to 1 in 6.”
The UN’s Drugs Control Board recently has issued a warning, stating that “moves by governments to legalise non-medial use of cannabis have led to increased consumption without explaining the potentially serious health dangers that users face from the drug”. The data clearly shows increased consumption and “negative health effects and psychotic disorders” among some recreational cannabis users. Admissions for cannabis-related psychotic disorders have quadrupled worldwide.
According to the American Council on Science and Health: “California cannabis emergency-room visits climbed 53% in the three years after the state legalized recreational marijuana in 2016. Daily marijuana emergency-room visits in San Diego nearly quadrupled between 2014 and 2019.”
So there seems to be overwhelming evidence that legalising cannabis leads to increased usage and increase health problems.
Cannabis and Schizophrenia
Countless studies have linked longterm cannabis use to depression and schizophrenia. A study published in 2022 concludes:
“Both high- and low-frequency marijuana usage were associated with a significantly increased risk of schizophrenia.”
Meanwhile a recent Danish study found that schizophrenia cases associated with pot addiction have increased 3-4 fold over the past 20 years as marijuana potency rose 200%:
“the proportion of schizophrenia cases associated with problematic use of marijuana increased 3-4 fold over the past 20 years. In a nationwide study that included nearly every person born in Denmark before 2000, the number of schizophrenia cases linked to cannabis use disorder increased from 2% in 1995 to between 6-8% by 2016.”
Increased Violent Behaviour
There’s also mounting evidence that cannabis use is linked to increased violent behaviour. Here is just a sample of research and articles which link cannabis use to violence:
- McLean Hospital’s Biological Psychiatry Laboratory reports that long-term, heavy users of marijuana exhibited more aggressive behaviour during subsequent abstinence than infrequent users.
- A Norwegian study revealed that adolescents who use cannabis report violence with greater frequency over youths who abstain from use.
- In 2013, a Drug and Alcohol Dependence article reported that marijuana withdrawal is linked with 60% more relationship violence among individuals with a personal history of aggressive behaviour.
- A 2015 article in the Journal of Affective Disorders indicated that marijuana use tends to coincide with manic episodes. Of special relevance, individuals experiencing cannabis-induced mania often manifest anger and aggression.
The evidence is compelling – longterm cannabis use can lead to violent behaviour. Here are some further links to articles and studies on this subject…
Marijuana Is More Dangerous Than You Think
“As legislation spreads, more Americans are becoming heavy users of cannabis despite its links to violence and mental illness.”
Association Between the Use of Cannabis and Physical Violence in Youths: A Meta-Analytical Investigation
“Cannabis use in this population (youths) is a risk factor for violence.”
Fact or Faction Regarding the Relationship between Cannabis Use and Violent Behavior
“The findings from this review suggest that, on the basis of the current literature, frequent cannabis use is a potential risk factor for violence and aggression”
Violence and Cannabis Use: A Focused Review of a Forgotten Aspect in the Era of Liberalizing Cannabis
“In all, evidence-based research from meta-analyses have indeed shown that cannabis is associated to violence and therefore measures should be taken to mitigate the risk. “