Justice, science, and health are all involved; we are now re-evaluating the relative weights given to those approaches, and allowing science, rather than moral panic or political grandstanding, to inform health and justice to a greater extent than has been evident in much of the preceding century. Such a reappraisal is long overdue.
And done right, it should lead to a carefully tested and evolving set of controls around drug use, rather than the single leap to an untested regime that some opponents fear.
Exactly this! :)
These developments are genuinely alarming. I'm pleased there was a One News story about this last night - New Zealanders will rightfully hate the idea of US-based political interference in our referendum. And yes, I'm aware of the irony. ;)
I'm presenting to at least five groups of elderly people (U3A, Probus etc.) over the next couple of months. I'm told I am pretty persuasive...
I saw a (UK) doco a while back that talked about a genetic marker for risk of bipolar disorder triggered by adolescent use of cannabis, and quoted the Dunedin study. Is this still a solid finding? I seem to remember the front-person saying it was about 15% of the population.
There have been somewhat mixed results in terms of replication of the COMT gene findings for the linkage to psychotic illness, but this is not surprising given the very low base rate of psychotic illness in the population (very hard to detect even with a sample of 1000).
I've had a student doing a project looking at symptom profiles for regular cannabis users v. non-users. Good news is that while regular users report more symptoms, they are not reporting *different* symptoms to non-users, and the most commonly reported symptoms for both groups are mild in nature.
A blazing (sorry) column by Rebecca Reider about the NZMA chair's comments on access to medicinal cannabis.
The doctors' body is embarrassing itself at the moment.
The trouble is that talking about this stuff leads to a lot of inadvertent puns. Agree about the NZMA, just terrible behaviour, but not surprising.
I was keen for my commentary not to come off as dismissive of what he wrote, I just wanted to give some perspective on where he was coming from.
Definitely did not seem dismissive. :)
Russell, I'm pleased you caught the difference in tone between the two articles. The CHDS one was largely "wordsmithed" by me, and the second by Benedikt.
Fascinating story. Sad to realize that 25 years has passed with relatively little change.
I think the perspective amongst mental health consumers is to steer well clear of some subspecies of weed which may exacerbate pre-existing latent psychosis, especially in the case of people with schizophrenia. That said, I understand that methamphetamine can also cause severer psychosis, and of longer duration. Surely therefore containment and interdiction should be directed toward that objective, given that severity.
I agree completely.
We're actually going to be examining this question (meth and psychosis) using data from our cohort and a few Australian cohorts... stay tuned!
I think the question is the standard and provenance of the cannabis harm and risk research relied upon by opponents of cannabis liberalisation and whether the premises and methodology are faulty, which I suspect may be the case.
Our methods for ascertaining reverse causality (i.e. determining how much of the effect is in the form of cannabis ==> psychosis, and how much is in the form of psychosis ==> cannabis) are most definitely flawed, and this is mentioned in the "limitations" sections of most papers (including ours).