How does cannabis work?
When smoked, cannabis from the lungs goes into the blood and is carried to every part of the body. Several chemicals in cannabis bind to receptors in areas of the brain that deal with pleasure, memory, thought, concentration and the awareness of time. There are two main kinds of chemical involved: * A group called the cannabinoids, which seem to give you the more pleasant effects - feeling relaxed, happy, sleepy, with colours appearing more vivid and music sounding better. * THC, which seems to produce hallucinations, anxiety and paranoia. These feelings don't usually last long – although as the drug can stay in the system for some weeks, subtle effects can last a few days. Long-term use can make you depressed and make you less motivated.
What is the risk to mental health?
1600 Australian children aged 14 to 15 were studied for seven years,. The ones who used cannabis every day were 5 times more likely to become depressed and anxious by the end of the study. Schizophrenia
* If you start smoking cannabis before 15, you are 4 times more likely to develop a psychotic illness. * The more cannabis you use, the more likely you are to develop psychosis. It isn't clear why cannabis use in adolescence seems to have such an effect, but it may be because the brain is still developing.
What about other effects?
* Education: the connection isn't clear, but regular cannabis use does seem to affect how you do at school or college. * Employment: cannabis users are more likely to leave work without permission, spend work time on personal matters or daydream. Regular users report that it has interfered with their work and social life. * Driving: a recent study in France showed that cannabis users are more than twice as likely to be the cause of a fatal crash than to be one of the victims.
I think that cannabis shouldn’t be legal because it can produce hallucinations, anxiety and paranoia which...