Cannabis psychosis known for decades

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Your article on the effects of high potency cannabis only reports on recent details. Psychosis from smoking weed has been known for decades.

During my visit to Jamaica in 1982 for the U.S. Department of State, I was given a tour of the ward at the national mental hospital devoted to psychotic ganja smokers by Dr. Frank Knight, who had first reported on cannabis-induced psychosis in Jamaica back in the 1960s. It is very real.

The research community tends to report on the toxic effects of psychotropic drugs in response to media attention which sometimes has little to do with actual prevalence of the problem. But in this and some other cases it is real. The latest media bandwagon is heroin, which incidentally is available in a few locales in Costa Rica, and which has caused a few overdose deaths here.

Fact: If it gets you high, it is messing with your brain, and if you use it to excess, it can cause serious health consequences. (“It” is any drug that can get you high.)

John French
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