Marijuana’s potency linked to psychosis

Putting a cap on marijuana’s THC potency will lessen the rates of schizophrenia. However, Washingtonians should know THC is still an environmental risk factor for schizophrenia, even when the potency is between 2 percent to 8 percent.

When I began smoking pot as a 12-year-old, the THC potency was about 5 percent. It was commonly used amongst my peers in Bellevue and no one knew there was any risk to using it. One time when I was getting stoned with a friend, I lost touch with reality and didn’t know who she was. My friend was fine, but I was terrified. Recently I discovered the name for this: Cannabis-Induced Psychosis. I mostly stayed away from the drug.

Can someone know ahead of time if his or her brain is sensitive to the negative effects of THC? There is no way to know until it happens. A family member liked the “fun house” feeling weed gave him; he used it every day through high school, college at the University of Washington, and graduate school at USC. He couldn’t pass his exams. He became a drug dealer, went to jail eighteen times and, convinced he was John the Baptist, lived under a freeway.

Of all the drugs which can induce psychosis, THC has the highest conversion rate to schizophrenia; eight years after use.

Higher THC potency has increased the percentage of people acquiring psychosis. How many are like my brother and, in their delusions, have chosen a life on the streets?

Lowering THC potency will reduce mental illness and homelessness.

Heidi Anderson-Swan

Hermosa Beach, Calif.

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