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The most blatantly obvious rebuttal to this silliness is to simply point out that the incidence of psychoses overall in society hasn't changed much since the time when hardly anyone in the country was using marijuana until now. It's also valuable to point out that a country like Japan, which has a very low rate of marijuana use, has a very high rate of psychosis. Of course, I forgot both of these points when I posted a short angry rant about this last night...

Posted by thehim | July 27, 2007 2:29 PM

The him, can you give a source for Japan having high prevalence of psychosis? According to a WHO study from 2004 the US had more mental illness, and more severe mental illness than any of the European countries, Japan, China, and Nigeria and Lebanon. This looked at anxiety disorders, mood disorders, Impulse-control and substance abuse.

This study didn't look at schizophrenia, though, so I'd be curious about data showing Japan has more psychosis.

Posted by Jude Fawley | July 27, 2007 2:43 PM

Do the math people, that 40% increase means that instead of a .5% chance of developing psychoses you will now have a .7% chance.

Someone pass the freakin bong.

Posted by bryan | July 27, 2007 2:51 PM

Actually, as our populations age (Japan US etc) we will all have a higher level of both psychosis (including hallucinations et al) due to increased dementia and Alzheimer's disease associated with aging.

Plus, the increased cancer prevalence and general pain levels will cause more and more people to use treatments such as ... oh, i don't know .. MJ ... to alleviate their pain.

But you say it like it's a bad thing.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 27, 2007 4:06 PM

Correlation != causation.

Posted by e | July 27, 2007 4:21 PM

we should look at the percentage of DEA agents and other drug warriors who display psychotic or antisocial behavior (e.g. budthirsty WA State Patrol) and draw conclusions from that.

Posted by ghghgh | July 27, 2007 10:38 PM

It isn't exactly news that people who have a mental illness tend to self-medicate, is it? Depressed people drink heavily. Maybe incipient schitzophrenics are drawn to pot.

Posted by Orv | July 30, 2007 10:05 AM

I think you're right on that. I had read a serious of articles discussing the mental health problems in Japanese society, claiming that they had much higher incidences of suicide and other mental health problems than neighboring countries, but I can't find any raw numbers on that.

Posted by thehim | July 30, 2007 11:12 AM

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