Not Saussure

March 18, 2007

Skunk and schizophrenia

Filed under: Medicine, Mental Health, Stats — notsaussure @ 8:23 pm

Among the Sindy’s reasons for no longer wanting cannabis legalised (though they’re still in favour of decriminalisation):

25,000 schizophrenics could have avoided the illness if they had not used cannabis

Anyone got any ideas about how that figure’s arrived at? How can they say with any certainty that it’s nearer 25,000 rather than nearer 12,500 or 50,000?

I’m sure there is a good reason for using that figure, but any calculation, I’d have thought, must involve an awful lot of rather speculative assumptions about schizophrenia, what causes it and what triggers its onset.

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  1. Round numbers are just easier; I wrote a post about a simialr silly number ealier this week.

    Poor journalism is not correlated with lower sales!

    Comment by cityunslicker — March 18, 2007 @ 11:01 pm

  2. I think they came up with that figure after smoking too much cannibis!


    Comment by Queen Minx — March 19, 2007 @ 1:28 am

  3. They should have been smoking cannAbis … now that would really have messed with their heads!


    Comment by Queen Minx — March 19, 2007 @ 1:29 am

  4. I, that is, we, received a phone call on Saturday, asking if I, that is, we, were interested in buying any home grown. As I had already finished the first chapter of the blook (not a typo), I thought I would celebrate with my other half…

    Comment by jailhouselawyer — March 19, 2007 @ 11:04 am

  5. I wonder about these stats too.

    I’m just back from Amsterdam and after talking to folks over there there doesn’t seem to be any worries that they have a huge increase in mental health problems.

    In addition I can think of loads of people I know who used weed and didn’t become mentally ill.

    I also know a couple of people with schizophrenia who have never touched the stuff.

    I say follow the Dutch.

    Legalise it and classify it. In Holland you buy it clearly marked with it’s THC% in much the same way as we sell alcohol over here.

    If you drink enough whiskey you can go blind but they don’t ban it.

    Comment by puddlejumper — March 19, 2007 @ 1:22 pm

  6. Legalising it and classifying it certainly has its attractions, but it doesn’t get round the problem of people growing their own, which I imagine people would want to continuing doing — cheaper, for one thing. On the other hand, so long as people know the risks of what they’re doing, then, I suppose, let them get on with it and hope for the best.

    I’m a bit confused (not because of cannabis) about this; is skunk so much more powerful because people have successfully developed particularly powerful strains of the plant, or is it because it’s grown under controlled conditions that enable it to develop maximum potency? Anyone happen to know?

    The other thing that slightly puzzles me is that, back in my young day, it was always acid that was supposed to scramble people’s brains. You never hear about that now; is it out of fashion, or have the underground labs hit on a safer formula, or what?

    Comment by notsaussure — March 19, 2007 @ 1:42 pm

  7. It’s actually a bit of both NS. The vast majority of cannabis smoked in this country is still the fairly mild hashish, the major difference being as the report from last week made clear that it’s grown here instead of being smuggled in.

    Powerful strains have indeed been developed (various sites offer a wide variety of seeds) and are then often grown using hydroponics; doing so though is far more difficult than just having a few pot plants on your windowsill, so it’s only usually done by those who have the time and effort to spare. A percentage of this does reach the market, but because of all these factors it’s far more expensive than normal hashish is, and its spread has been exaggerated as per usual by the tabloid media.

    Comment by . — March 19, 2007 @ 5:57 pm

  8. Skunk is more powerful because of added chemicals. And, I am aware of the son of a friend who split two plants to produce a different variety and this increased the potency. Some are arguing that today’s crop is stronger than in the 60s. In any event, you don’t get higher the more you smoke because it simply levels off. Whereas with drink, the more you drink the drunker you get. I know which I prefer.

    Comment by jailhouselawyer — March 19, 2007 @ 6:10 pm

  9. The reality on the streets and the hysteria reported by the papers are worlds apart. Whose interests it serves to peddle such garbage about this poor little plant, I have no idea.
    Ceratinly whilre they still sell White Lightning in off-licenses, social ethics seem a little unbalanced…

    Comment by Crushed by Ingsoc — March 19, 2007 @ 7:20 pm

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