Mental problems twice as likely for cannabis users: report

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Cannabis users suffer mental health problems twice as often as non-users, a study published Monday by Statistics Netherlands said.

"The percentage of people with a less good mental health is two times higher among cannabis users than non-users," CBS said in a statement.

The study, which was carried out between 2007 to 2009 and involved some 18,500 people, found that "20 percent of male cannabis users complained of mental problems, compared to 10 percent among non-users".

The proportion was the same for women, with 28 percent of users complaining of mental problems, compared to 14 percent among non-users, CBS said.

Smokers complained of mental problems such as anxiety, melancholy, sadness and impatience, but CBS said the physical health of users and non-users barely differed.

The study found that four percent of the 15-65 year-olds who took part had smoked cannabis at least once in the last 30 days.

Though technically illegal, the Netherlands decriminalised the consumption and possession of under five grammes (0.18 ounces) of cannabis in 1976 under an official "tolerance" policy.

© 2010 AFP

3 Comments To This Article

  • Diana posted:

    on 10th October 2010, 08:50:34 - Reply

    Steve, I had a similar reaction to the study. Maybe cannabis users are more sensitive to their emotions, or, maybe cannabis users like to complain more. The way this study was conducted, I think they're being presumptuous in concluding that cannabis users are twice as likely to have mental problems as non-users.
  • Steve posted:

    on 7th October 2010, 13:19:12 - Reply

    It could be that the smokers are simply more aware and conscious of emotions such as anxiety, melancholy, sadness and impatience.
    The same emotions tend to be buffered and denied by sleeping machines.
  • Emmitt Mak posted:

    on 5th October 2010, 18:03:53 - Reply

    What a bunch of hooey. You could take ANY class of items that offer some sort of 'relief' or mental gear shift and find that there is a higher amount of users that have mental issues. That is what got them interested in using in the first place. I am sure, for instance, that the similar results would be present with alcohol, nicotine, opiates, etc.
    This is a red herring put out there by conservative douchebags who want to run everyones life and get very uncomfortable when others do things they do not appreciate. THey hate marijuana with a passion. The rule happy crowd in the states puts out these studies on a regular basis. It is bull.