Citizenship requirements and cannabis

published on May 23, 2016 by Stephanie Lake and Dr. M-J Milloy in The Vancouver Sun

Basecannabis use warnings onscientific evidence

Re: High-potency pot poses risks to the developing brain, Opinion, May 16

While we were pleased to see The Sun devote attention to the important topic of adolescent cannabis use, we were disappointed to read Dr. Diane McIntosh’s op-ed in which she stated that adolescent cannabis use increases the risk of developing schizophrenia. After intense study, scientists have concluded the evidence to date does not support the claim that cannabis causes schizophrenia. While the correlation between living with schizophrenia and using cannabis has often been observed, much of the research has suggested that the association can be explained, at least in part, by the use of cannabis as a means of self-medication among individuals predisposed to, or living with, schizophrenia.

Developing a public health framework for legal cannabis among adults in cannabis will require policy-makers to pay close attention to the scientific evidence on the benefits and harms of cannabis – but causing schizophrenia does not appear to be one of them.

Stephanie Lake & M-J. Milloy,BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, St. Paul’s Hospital; University of British Columbia

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