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Schizophrenia

July 3, 2013
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Mark Kleiman does an excellent job responding to the latest schizophrenia scare with his post: Cannabis and schizophrenia: Scare stories are not policy arguments

If I had a young friend with a family history of schizophrenia or who had experienced schizophrenic symptoms, I’d advise that person to stay away from cannabis. Why take unnecessary chances? But the evidence of an actual causal link is fairly underwhelming; it’s very hard to tell whether early cannabis use might reflect attempts at self-medication for pre-clinical symptoms rather than being an actual precipitating cause.

At the population level, we have what seems to me like strong negative evidence on the question whether increasing the availability of cannabis will lead to a measurable increase in the number of people with disabling levels of schizophrenia.

We’ve been actually fairly fortunate on this side of the pond that most policy leaders have not fallen for the schizophrenia scare as a significant anti-legalization argument. But then again, we don’t have the Daily Mail.

What we have is the Kevin Sabet:

Why isn’t this getting more play? Doc at Yale School of Medicine: Pot-Smoking & the Schizophrenia Connection http://t.co/1c1TF9dBCY via @WSJ

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Pete Guither is the editor of drugwarrant.com

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