Reefer Madness: Marijuana Ups Psychosis Risk

New study reveals that pot smokers have a 41% increased chance of psychosis
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2007 10:46 AM CDT
Supporters including Abdullah, far left, smoke marijuana with Ed Rosenthal, third from left, outside of the federal courthouse in San Francisco, Friday, April 13, 2007. Federal prosecutors said Friday...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Smoking pot increases your risk of developing schizophrenia and other forms of psychotic illness later in life, according to a new study. Partakers had a 41% higher chance of developing psychosis with hallucinations or delusions—a risk that only increased with heavy use. The findings may push the UK to crack down on penalties for the drug.

A contributing psychiatrist admitted that marijuana may not be as harmful as alcohol or tobacco, but said users underestimate the health effects it poses. Researchers say they'd need a new longterm study following the effects of the drug on healthy young people to bury the joint, but marijuana laws my stymie their efforts for now.