Opponents of marijuana legalization fear that smoking marijuana increases ones chances of suffering psychosis, but one researcher from the University of York says the likeliness of this is extremely rare. Researcher and lecturer Ian Hamilton looked over more than 50 years of studies on marijuana and mental health, and found that cannabis users experiencing a psychotic episode is relatively low, and that legalizing and regulating marijuana could actually further reduce these incidents. Hamilton explains, "The link between cannabis and psychosis has been investigated by researchers since the drug became popular in the 1960s... A new review of research carried out since then has concluded that ‘at a population level the increased risk is weak and the vulnerabilities relatively rare'. To put this in perspective we would need to prevent 23,000 people using cannabis to prevent one case of psychosis."
Cannabis psychosis results when THC triggers psychotic symptoms in the user, and teenagers or those with schizophrenia are at a higher risk. Hamilton fears cases of psychosis may be increasing due to the fact today's marijuana has higher concentrations of THC than the marijuana that was studied in the 60s, but he believes legalizing and regulating marijuana will provide quality controlled products in packages that can provide warnings to consumers.
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