Letter: Mental illness linked to pot use

Published:

 

A resident physician in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine has now weighed in to highlight the growing evidence linking marijuana use and schizophrenia. In the July 1 Wall Street Journal story "Pot Smoking and the Schizophrenia Connection," Dr. Samuel T. Wilkinson states, "As the medical and scientific literature continues to accumulate … it becomes clearer that the claim that marijuana is medically harmless is false. There is a significant and consistent relationship between marijuana use and the development of schizophrenia and related disorders. Schizophrenia is considered by psychiatrists to be the most devastating of mental illnesses."

The societal burden of these disorders is truly staggering, as most cannot hold a steady job or live independently, and a large proportion of homeless and jail inmates fall into these categories. Pot taken by those with such disorders also counteracts their anti-psychotic medications.

Teachers, parents, policymakers, and, newspaper editors, please look at this evidence. Those making money from pot are perpetrating a myth that this dangerous drug is no worse than alcohol.

Ann T. Donnelly

Vancouver