Marijuana use could harm mental health

Dear Editor,

On or around March 20, 2019, multiple American news outlets and online magazines highlighted a European study, originally published in Lancet Psychiatry, that showed an increased risk of losing touch with reality (psychosis) in users of high potency marijuana. This may include hallucinations and developing false beliefs, which makes it difficult for a person to determine whether something is real or not. It is well documented that frequent marijuana use is associated with higher risk of psychosis than in non-users.

This particular study, which took place across London, Amsterdam and Paris, showed higher rates of new psychosis than other cities in the study because of the availability of the higher-strength weed. It was found that people who smoked marijuana daily had a three-times-higher risk of having a psychotic episode than a non-user. Those who started younger than 15-years-old had a slightly higher risk than those who smoked later in life. Those who smoked high potency marijuana daily had a four-times-higher risk of having a psychotic episode.

It is important for Bahamians who like to jump on the “progressive” bandwagon and seldom consider consequences of actions, to understand the risks of high THC marijuana; and it is equally important for the government to pay attention to the likelihood of this trend starting here.

I know more than one person who “lost their mind” smoking marijuana long before these high THC strains were available, so I shudder to think of what could happen here.

A word to the wise used to be sufficient – let’s hope it still is!

– JB

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