The Lancet Psychiatry Journal has just recently published a report of combined research projects undertaken in both Australia and New Zealand extrapolating data recorded from a study of 3,765 regular cannabis users.
The statistics are pretty stark, and speak for themselves.
As is now the norm with most other things, drug use and in particular that of cannabis, is now starting at a much younger age, with adolescent usage now considered to be heavy: for example, 7% of US high-school students are daily/near-daily users. Similar usage is reported in Australia for 1% of 11-15 year olds. Whilst the % of daily use in itself would appear tiny, the fact that any 11 year old is actually smoking weed on a daily basis is by its very nature, quite a shocking revelation. In England, 4% of 11-15 year olds have used regularly in the past month. The findings of the study show that teenagers who use cannabis daily are more like to attempt suicide in later years. This is therefore a worrying forecast for the future on a not insignificant number of today’s adolescents.
The study has found that there is a direct correlation between frequency of teenage usage and the future socio and psychological conditions of the respondees .
Those who used daily pre-17 are:-
- 7 times more likely to attempt suicide (does not suggest it is the cause of suicidal thoughts)
- 18 times more likely to become cannabis dependent
- 8 times more likely to become dependent on other drugs including and most especially Class A
- Over 60% less likely to complete formal secondary education
One of the senior authorities working on the study project, Dr Edmund Silins commented:
The results provide “strong evidence that the prevention or delay of cannabis use is likely to have broad health and social benefits”.
“Efforts to reform cannabis legislation should be carefully assessed to ensure they reduce adolescent cannabis use and prevent potentially adverse effects on adolescent development.”
From my own personal experience, I have witnessed first-hand the effect cannabis had on well educated, articulate peers of mine, who had it all ahead of them . In the beginning, it was the odd toke, just for a giggle; then it became the social joint, at the weekends. In the end, it ended up becoming a daily habit, and one that destroyed the fabric of 3 families in a small rural location. These are the facts of what happened:
Family A 4 boys 2 girls – 3 out of the 4 boys, 1 of the 2 girls, became cannabis dependent. Total 4. Of that 4, 3 ended up in psychiatric hospitals with severe mental health problems. Two have never recovered.
Family B 2 boys – 1 ended up with a chronic cannabis dependency, which eventually led to class A (Heroin) drug dependency. He died at the age of 25.
Family C 2 girls – 1 started smoking cannabis at 13 (as well as drinking); by 17 she had a full blown heroin addiction. She gave birth at 18 to a lovely boy, who was taken from her by social services. She died of HIV/AIDS at 21.
I don’t judge, these are the facts, both from the extensive research carried out and from my own personal first-hand experience.
I will let you make up your own mind on the subject. I know what mine is.