Pubdate: Thu, 02 Aug 2007
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2007 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: John Bainbridge


Re: Marijuana's scary science, July 26.

Recent studies have shown that the use of marijuana in adolescents can
lead to incidents of paranoid schizophrenia. Some say that this is a
reason to keep marijuana illegal. I say the exact opposite. I believe
that these studies show that the need for decriminalization and
government regulation of marijuana is greater now than ever.

The two most important facts in these studies are that incidents of
"marijuana psychosis" occur primarily in teenagers during puberty and
that these incidents are the result of the production of "new strains"
of marijuana, 25 times more potent than weed available a decade ago.

The regulation of marijuana would prevent these incidents if marijuana
were regulated as a controlled substance, like alcohol or cigarettes.
This would prevent most teenagers from obtaining weed. During the days
of Prohibition, before alcohol was regulated, there were numerous
cases of people going blind from drinking unregulated moonshine.
Government regulation of alcohol percentages has prevented this
problem. Likewise, if the government regulated the THC content of
weed, cases of marijuana psychosis would all but disappear.

This is no longer a question of politics, but one of safety. As long
as marijuana remains illegal and unchecked, then cases of marijuana
psychosis will become more frequent and more severe.

One thing I can say for certain is that ignoring this issue will not
make it go away.

John Bainbridge,

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