CALL ME OBSESSIVE…. I found the following letter I wrote back in 1980s.

Dear Editor,

For many years the suggestion that my son’s marijuana use contributed to his schizophrenia lurked within the far dark corners of my mind. But the smart people I queried continued to pooh-pooh this possibility until I became convinced of the innocence of the weed in regards to his illness.

In the 1980s I feverishly consumed references about marijuana from old books such as “Sensual Drugs” written by Hardin and Helen Jones, professors at the University of California, who considered its usage to be much more dangerous to the human body and mind than was previously thought. According to the authors every hundred years or so statistics come up with figures linking pot use with brain disorders, etc. The furore ((if any develops at all) soon dies down and users complacently go back to inhaling and exhaling the fumes of their favourite smoke.

In 1894 a commission sponsored by the Indian government came up with a report that “although hemp users were only about 6% of the population, 18 % of [them] became mental patients.” The report concluded that “damage to lungs, brain and liver; suppressed semen production; intestinal disturbances and general debilitation of health from cannabis use is now being substantiated scientifically ….”

Well it’s been more than a hundred years since that report was published but now The Reader’s Digest has come with the latest information linking marijuana use with schizophrenia. In the April 2004 issue there is an article worth reading entitled “Marijuana’s Loss of Innocence” by Gerlof Leistra and Simon Rozendaal. The author’s (Dutch, I think?) say there is definite link between pot use and schizophrenia.

My own personal opinion is that the big problem occurs when the user decides to abandon his habit – cold turkey- which is what my son did after inhaling steadily for about 6 months. According to the book Sensual Drugs (Appendix -page 306) accumulated THC levels are stored in the fatty tissues of the body where it’s held “more tenaciously in the brain tissue. It’s elimination then depends on removing the THC residues from the body as a whole – a matter of many months abstinence for humans.”

I’m wondering if the shock of a sudden withdrawal from the drug, after only six months of heavy use may have resulted in chronically affecting the normal functioning of my son’s brain?

It’s worth a thought before taking that your first drag of happy smoke and before butting out your last. Tapering off might just be the better way to go than quitting cold turkey.

Sincerely, Doris Ray

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