KEY POINTS

  • Serious health risks reported from recreational use of marijuana
  • Risks include schizophrenia, psychosis, and suicidal feelings
  • More states may try legalization of recreational marijuana

Legalized recreational use of marijuana is fraught with serious health issues including schizophrenia and psychosis, according to a senior official of the Department of Health and many doctors amidst the expanded lobbying for cannabis legalization at the Federal level too.

The plethora of health issues among users has led physicians and parents to come out against the theory of advocates that marijuana is a safe and beneficial drug.

Alarm signals are out from doctors in states such as Colorado, California, and Massachusetts where marijuana has been legalized for recreational use. 

Understand the health risks

Elinore McCance-Katz, the Department of Health and Human Services' top mental health official warns it is time “Americans to understand there are substantial risks with marijuana.”

Katz notes the linkage between the two is settled science and regrets the lack of attention paid to the problem. 

The USA Today report has many interviews with parents whose children suffered psychotic episodes including schizophrenia and recourse to suicides. 

It highlights specific cases of people like Madison McIntosh off at Scottsdale, Arizona, who was a restaurant worker and wandered senselessly alternating between mental levels of gibberish and suicide thoughts.

The one-time star baseball player had been vaping THC, the ingredient in marijuana for enjoying a high and he lost sleep and would stay up all night. 

Psychiatrist Divya Jot Singh diagnosed the problem as cannabis use disorder and a “psychotic disorder unspecified.”

The media report highlights many incidents borne by overuse of THC pot and concentrated oil leading to psychotic disorders and most turning into full-blown schizophrenia.

McIntosh’s father Rob wonders the proponents of the legalization of pot ever thought of the risks and the consequences awaiting youngsters.

Heart problems 

Meanwhile, the latest study by the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2019 noted many young people who use cannabis frequently are vulnerable to strokes than non-users. 

The finding did not say marijuana is causing the stroke risk, but it found a correlation, Fox News reported. 

The body conducted two studies and the second one found those diagnosed with cannabis use disorder often get hospitalized for arrhythmia or heart rhythm disturbances.

 “Young cannabis users, especially those who use tobacco and have risk factors for strokes, such as high blood pressure,” noted the study’s author Tarang Parekh, a health policy researcher at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.  Four states may add their names to the list of 11 US states that legalized recreataional marijuana sales. medical recreational marijuana and cancer risk Photo: cheifyc - Pixabay

Marijuana legalization proponent Mason Tvert also endorses millions of Americans are right in being skeptical about the dangers of cannabis consumption, given the prevalence of a vast illicit market.

However, hardcore marijuana advocates do scorn news reports if it suggests cannabis makes people sick, criticizing such coverage as exaggerated and going back to “Reefer Madness,” days of 1936 when the movie exposed the public dangers from the drug.

Meanwhile, in 2020, at least 10 more states will try to legalize marijuana. They include Vermont, New Mexico, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Arizona, Florida, and Ohio, per the report by Forbes.