Saturday, January 29, 2011

Jared Loughner & Cannabis

Without fail, some people have seized on the fact that Loughner used cannabis and tried to pin the blame for his actions on his drug use.

Never mind that Loughner's problems seemed to have kicked off when he broke up with his girlfriend and had reported conflicts with his father which led to his ALCOHOL poisoning on May 15, 2006 -- as well as evidence he was bullied at school.

All evidence in cases like Loughner's is that their use of psychedelics are SELF-MEDICATION or Escapist and NOT causative.

As for the link between cannabis and schizophrenia, there is an even STRONGER link between smoking tobacco and schizophrenia (but you don't see that in the reports) But again, it appears to be used for a palliative effect. The Swedish/Stockholm studies from 1987/1989 are often brought up in this context but they never mention this one from 2007:
Schizophr Res. 2007 Jul;93(1-3):203-10. Epub 2007 Apr 25.
RESULTS: There was no statistically significant effect of cannabis use on the presence of any of the above. There remained however a non-significant trend towards more insight (OR 0.65 p=0.055 for "loss of insight") and a finding of fewer abusive or accusatory hallucinations (OR 0.65 p=0.049) of borderline significance amongst the cannabis users. These were in the hypothesised direction. There was no evidence of fewer negative symptoms or greater family history amongst cannabis users.

CONCLUSION: We found few appreciable differences in symptomatology between schizophrenic patients who were or were not cannabis users. There were no differences in the proportion of people with a positive family history of schizophrenia between cannabis users and non-users. This argues against a distinct schizophrenia-like psychosis caused by cannabis

Correlation alone is NOT causation (for example, 100% of schizophrenics have consumed water) but it needs to be more forcefully stated because laypersons simply do not understand this in the more subtle cases (especially those where prejudice exists). The evidence is that they seek out cannabis AND TOBACCO because they find relief in the effects.

More Links and Resources:

More details on the story here:

Reports on his drug use:

Called 'habitual user' despite report he stopped in 2008:

and he was BULLIED (who didn't see that one coming?):

Loughner was also the victim of bullying on more than one occasion.

In September 2004, police were called to Mountain View High School after Loughner was "stuck with a pin – a stolen type needle, in the cafeteria," according to official reports.

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