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Published on Jul 27, 2007
It would seem that we are slipping back 70 years in attitudes towards cannabis use. The UK newspapers are full of headlines just like those in the 1936 anti cannabis film 'REFFER MADNESS' -- it would be funny but for the uneducated and ignorant and hysterical knee-jerk reaction to this wonderful herb. I was a psychiatric nurse working on an addiction unit and a general admissions ward for 22 years. Not once in that time did I meet or treat a patient who had 'gone mad' or become schizophrenic by using cannabis -- I did meet a number of schizophrenic and other psychotic patients, all of whom said that they did not use cannabis as it made them feel worse.
All psychiatrists that I worked for agreed that cannabis would compound symptoms and cause psychotic episodes in patients with a major psychotic illness -- and they all agreed that cannabis was NOT the cause of their illness. They all also agreed that cannabis is a relatively harmless substance for those who did not have a history of psychotic illness.
The numbers of schizophrenic patients, per head of population HAS NOT RISEN in the last 30 years. The numbers of schizophrenic patients in countries such as Holland, where cannabis laws are relaxed, is no higher than in countries where the laws are strict, such as France -- these topographical figures prove beyond a doubt that cannabis, while making an existing and sometimes latent psychotic illnesses worse, it is not and has never been the CAUSE of schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses.
The motivations for re-grading cannabis are political and yet another example of how the people of Britain are being pressurised to conform to a set of puritanical rules -- we cannot smoke in public yet our nation drops bombs on innocent people -- we are told that we drink too much -- take too many drugs -- we eat too much, or we eat the wrong things - our children are all yobs - paedophiles lurk in every shadow, and to top it all they are convincing us that global warming is our fault, not the fault of the big corporations [have a look at coca cola's or the oil and plastic industries environmental track record, ]
A nation in fear, a nation weighed down with guilt is a good place for the drug companies to make a lot of money, I wonder how much money is made from Prozac and similar products. Hmmmm, I wonder how much will be made from a drug to treat an imaginary cannabis psychosis. It has been shown that people under stress will consume more, will get deeper into debt, become more violent, will display more racist tendencies. Take a look around you, then light up a spliff!