States that legalized marijuana have higher rates of mental illness, study says

By July 19, 2018 Recent News

The Fayetteville Observer 18 July 2018
Family First Comment: This is significant! Could this be the reason why NZ’s mental health rate is rising so dramatically – our ‘softening’ approach to marijuana laws? What do you think…

For the past 20 years, scientific studies have warned that heavy marijuana use can lead to schizophrenic episodes and psychotic disorders.

Now, in the first study of its kind, RTI International in Research Triangle Park suggests marijuana may carry other risks as well.

The research organization said Monday that states with permissive medical marijuana laws have significantly higher rates of serious mental illness. The study, published in the peer-reviewed International Review of Psychiatry, was based on data involving 630,000 people interviewed between 2008 and 2015.

RTI’s study doesn’t explain the causes of the relationship between marijuana legalization and mental illness. It’s possible that states with higher rates of serious mental illness were quicker to legalize medical marijuana, said Lauren Dutra, a social scientist at RTI and the lead author of the study.

“We know there’s some sort of relationship between marijuana legislation, marijuana use and mental health,” Dutra said. “Your risk of certain mental health problems is higher if you use marijuana, particularly if you use marijuana heavily.”

RTI describes itself as a leader in marijuana research and has been conducting studies for the past four decades. The subject has exploded in recent years, generating more than 100 studies between 2012 and 2016 alone, compared to fewer than 10 studies a year during the 1990s, according to a literature review in the Current Psychiatry Reports journal.
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