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IN FRATERNAM MEAM
Thursday, May 05, 2005
U.S. SAYS EARLY MARIJUANA USE LINKED TO MENTAL DISORDERS
WASHINGTON -- Youngsters who use marijuana are more likely to develop serious mental health problems, the government said Tuesday. A private group said law enforecement increasingly is trageting people who smoke and deal the drug.

Government officials say recent research makes a stronger case that smoking marijuana is a causal agent in psychiatric symptoms, particularly schizophrenia.

"A growing body of evidence now demonstrates that smoking marijuana can increase the risk of serious mental problems," said John P. Walters, director of the White House office of Drug Control Policy.

Administration officials pointed to a handful of studies to make their case. One, from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Serives Administration, found adult marijuana smokers who first began using the drug before age 12 were twice as likely to have suffered a serious mental illness in the past year as those who began smoking after 18.

Enforcement policy questioned

Those who first started as teens also were at significantly higher risk.

Also Tuesday, the Sentencing Project released a report that found the government's "war on drugs" has become the "war on drug" as police agencies increasingly target marijuana.

Of some 700,000 marijuana arrests in 2002, 88 percent were for possession, it said. And only one of every 18 of those arrests ended in a felony conviction.

(Associated Press/ Pauline Jelinek)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:35 AM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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