Wednesday, September 02, 2009

More doubt cast on cannabis-schizophrenia link

A new UK study of 600,000 case records has failed to find a correlation between increasing cannabis use over the decades since the '70s and rates of schizophrenia, reports ABC Online.

In that time cannabis use among under-18-year-olds rose 18-fold. Reports the ABC:
Based on the literature supporting the link, the authors argue that this should be followed by an increase in schizophrenia incidence of 29% between 1990 and 2010.
But the researchers found no increase in the rates of schizophrenia and psychosis diagnosis during that period. In fact some of the data suggested the incidence of these conditions had decreased.
While the study has its critics, it should give pause to the moral panic driving 'get tougher on drugs' policies, and a whole new marijuana myth that most of the media regurgitates uncritically.


Anonymous said...

Frankly I suspect the whole cannabis-schizophrenia thing is the result of a panic attack documented by a health worker who smoked strong hashish in the wrong setting sometime in the last century, so I am certainly pleased to see it is finally laid to rest.

Anonymous said...

He does have a lot to lose:

Professor Joseph Rey of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Sydney, whose previous research has identified a link between cannabis and schizophrenia, is sceptical of the study's results.
"Not showing that there is a link does not mean there is no link," he says.

From the the ABC Science report you linked.