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cannabis

Tens of thousands admitted to hospital because of cannabis every year

The effect of cannabis consumption on UK mental health was brought to light in October as it was revealed that, in the last five years, the drug caused over 125,000 hospital admissions.

Of these 125,000, 15,000 were teenagers, some of whom had to be rushed to A&E suffering serious psychosis. The Mail on Sunday has further pointed out that ‘the number of cannabis-related hospitalisations per year in England has leapt by more than 50 percent since 2013—from 19,765 to 31,130.’

This rise has been caused greatly by the increasing acceptance of the lie that cannabis is a cool and harmless drug, and also by the (purposeful) failure of the criminal justice system to punish people for committing the crime of possessing cannabis (most police officers now give out ‘cannabis warnings’—this is not a punishment and involves no criminal record), which in turn means the role of deterrence has been almost completely destroyed.

Those who argue for the full legalisation of cannabis for recreational use claim this would produce numerous positive effects, such as the weakening of the average strength of the drug after legalisation and so a reduction in the number of people needing medical assistance after consuming it.

Reports from areas where legalisation has taken place prove such predictions are false. The strength of cannabis in US states which have legalised the drug has, in many cases, increased. In Colorado, there has been a fivefold increase in the number of ‘mental health diagnoses in cannabis-associated Emergency Department (E.D.) visits’, as well as a fourfold increase in the number of ‘psychiatric complaints in cannabis attributed E.D. visits’, according to an academic report released in May.

View this post on Instagram

✴️WARNING✴️ Ive posted my sons results before but now am adding my daughter's genenetic results of CANNABIS Exposure. This shit is dangerous for some people guys. WEED is NOT a CURE ALL, or BOB MARLEY would have never died from cancer ➡️➡️FYI guys NOT EVERYONE can tolerate weed. This is from an epigenetic report for my 19 year old son and 21 year old daughter showing they are prone to CANNABIS ASSOCIATED PSYCHOSIS.🌿We knew he was always sensitive to it as even in public if he smells it he gets a panic attack and almost faints. Ive read reports of others having seizures and heart attacks from it so I know its real. I dont judge others on their own personal choice but if you do smoke it please dont forcefully smoke ganja around others as you dont know if its their choice or not and or if they have a physical disability/allergy to it❤️ Let Freedom Rule but never at the expense of another💋✌️ #God #Love #cannabissensitivtysyndrome #cannabisallergy #cannabispsychosis #cbdoil #weed #ganja #pot #cbd #marijuana #drugfreezone #epigenetics #geneexpression #chemicalsensitivity #mcsd #toxinfree #sensitivities #la #ca #damianmarley #onelove #lyme #chronicillness #sensitivesoul #pureoxygen #healthyboundries #organic #holistic #holistisk

A post shared by 💥Lyme Is A Cryme💥 🇺🇸🇩🇰 (@lymeisacryme) on

I suspect that it won’t be long until similarly damning trends can be highlighted in Canada, which recently legalised cannabis for recreational use.

The effects of mental illness—increasingly linked to cannabis consumption—on individuals and on families (indeed, smoking cannabis does not, as legalisers would like you to think, only affect the smoker themselves; family, friends and other loved ones are left to pick up the pieces when the damage has been done) are immense.

Journalist Patrick Cockburn gave, in his (and his son’s) book Henry’s Demons, a moving insight into the struggle and pain suffered by his family when his son, Henry, was diagnosed with schizophrenia after having smoked cannabis for most of his teenage life. In the book, Patrick notes that Henry’s ‘school friends and fellow students fell in love, had girlfriends and boyfriends, got married, and had children, while [Henry] sat on his blanket on the squalid floor of a mental hospital.’ Indeed, the fact he often ‘felt [and often heard] brambles, trees, and wild animals all urging’ him to carry out incredibly dangerous and life-threatening acts meant living freely and unsupervised had become an impossibility.

Those who consume cannabis and do not have their lives reversed by severe mental illness are still at risk of being deeply affected by (not as easily recognisable and not as easy to record or study, yet still horrendously damaging) educational shortcomings; the link between cannabis smoking by teenagers (and, increasingly, younger children) and ‘concurrent and lasting effects […] on important cognitive functions’ has been widely studied.

The authors of a study in the American Journal of Psychiatry, who had expected to find that alcohol had worse effects on teenagers brains than marijuana, found that, on the contrary, ‘the concurrent and lasting effects of adolescent cannabis use can be observed on important cognitive functions and appear to be more pronounced than those observed for alcohol’.

Such warnings are, however, often made in vain. Greed and selfishness continually prevail over sense and compassion; by this I do not only refer to the greed and selfishness of those who value their mental health (and thus the stability of their families, as Henry Cockburn’s case, along with thousands of others, show) as less significant than some short-term ‘pleasure’ derived from consuming the drug but also that of those who wish to make money off the back of legalisation.

Author and journalist Peter Hitchens titles this group of people Billionaire Big Dope, who he says are ‘ready to overlook the horror of irreversible mental illness, for what some of them see as a good cause, and others see as a pot of gold.’

I fear that cannabis shall soon be legal in this country. Though the negative effects of this will soon be realised if this is the case, it would be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to make the drug illegal again—the failed American prohibition of alcohol in the 1920’s and 30’s demonstrates the futility of trying to make illegal the consumption of a substance which is currently legal and in mass use (which is not yet the case with cannabis).

Whilst the drug is far less ingrained in our society, we have the chance to strip it out (as much as possible) through effective policing and, when necessary, punishment, which would deter use.

Unless we act soon, our high streets will be full not only of large, golden M’s but also large, florescent green-leaf signs, and while some wealthy businessmen will happily line their pockets, countless families up and down the country will suffer the consequences.

Featured image: Thought Catalog on Unsplash.

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