Monthly Archives: March 2019

BreakPoint: Marijuana and Psychosis Real Data, Real Bad

The pitfalls and perils of marijuana legalization are well-documented. But whenever we discuss that research here on BreakPoint, we’re accused of not having the right research. What that means is that we’ve used studies that contradict the very vocal advocates of weed.

Well, let’s see what happens when we cite The British journal The Lancet, which, along with the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association, is considered the “gold standard” for peer-reviewed medical research. It doesn’t get more “real” than being published in The Lancet.

A just-published study in The Lancetinvolving, among others, researchers at King’s College London, compared 900 people who had been treated for psychosis with 1,200 people who had not. Sample participants were drawn from across Europe and Brazil.

Both groups were surveyed on a host of factors, including their use of marijuana and other drugs. The study’s authors concluded that “people who smoked marijuana on a daily basis were three times more likely to be diagnosed with psychosis compared with people who never used the drug. For those who used high-potency marijuana daily, the risk jumped to nearly five times.”

By “high-potency” the researchers meant marijuana with a THC content of more than ten percent. To put that figure in context, a study of the weed seized by the DEA between 1995 and 2014 found the THC content went from about 4 percent in 1995 to 12 percent in 2014.

Today, it’s not uncommon to read of marijuana that’s legally-sold in places like Colorado with THC content above 20 percent, occasionally 30 percent! Legalization advocates minimize the exponential growth in potency by saying that twenty or more years ago, Americans didn’t have access to “the good stuff.”

Well, that misses the point by several astronomical units. The point is that those people who daily use “the good stuff” are five times more likely to find themselves in a hospital suffering from delusions and hallucinations, to name only two symptoms of psychosis.

Now, critics will respond, “That’s correlation, not causation.” And that’s the criticism leveled at journalist Alex Berenson, author of “Tell Your Children: The Truth about Marijuana, Mental Illness and Violence,” a book I recommend highly. But as I heard Berenson say just last week in Denver, of course it’s correlation and not causation. The only way to prove causation would be to ask half a sample group to experiment with something that may harm them. That’s not ethically possible. By the way, all the studies that made us believe that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer were correlated studies too, but that was enough to convince us all.

Even so, writer Ron Powers doesn’t need a peer-reviewed study to convince him of the link between marijuana use and psychosis. In his 2017 book, “Nobody Cares About Crazy People,” he tells the moving story of his two sons, Dean and Kevin, who were both diagnosed with schizophrenia in their late teens.

As Powers tells readers, while there is a strong genetic component to schizophrenia, there is no “schizophrenia gene.” Instead, it’s a constellation of genetic and environmental factors that make people susceptible to schizophrenia. One of these, as Powers painfully learned, is heavy marijuana use, especially in the teenage years.

Of course, some people will tell you that they and most people aren’t mentally ill, so there’s little if any risk. But for a host of reasons, no one can know that with certainty. In fact, all pronouncements about how safe marijuana legalization is simply overstates the case.

That’s exactly what happened here in Colorado. The possible pitfalls were denied or downplayed. And so, Colorado now holds the dubious distinction of leading the country in first-time drug use. And the rate of monthly marijuana useamong 18-to-25-year-olds in states with legal weed is nearly three times as much as states that haven’t legalized it.  By the way, 18-25 is the age when schizophrenia often begins to manifest.

And since legalization, Colorado has seen a a spike in marijuana-related emergency room visits by people between the ages of 13 and 20.

Given the well-documented mental health risks, especially to not-fully-formed adolescent brains, the rush to legalization is the height of irresponsibility. An irresponsibility that can shatter lives. And don’t just take our word for it.

Resources

The contribution of cannabis use to variation in the incidence of psychotic disorder across Europe (EU-GEI): a multicentre case-control study 

  • Marta Di Forti, PhD et al | TheLancet.com | 19, 2019
NJ marijuana legalization: Don’t do it:

  • Stephen D. Reid and Kevin Sabet | app.com | March 14, 2019

The Point: Jesus Replaces Lenin

Back in 1990, plans to erect a giant statue of Vladimir Lenin on a hillside in the Russian city of Vladivostok were scrapped. Recently, city officials announced plans to erect a 223-foot high statue of Jesus Christ instead.

Those involved have made it clear that this statue will be as much a symbol of Russia as of Christianity. But it’s hard not to delight in the irony.

Lenin led the rise of Soviet communism and now lies embalmed in Moscow, more wax than man. His project and his legacy are a complete failure. But Jesus, whose religion Lenin tried to suppress, is alive and well. He’s outlasted not only Soviet communism but every other regime that has sought to extinguish His Kingdom.

 

Whether Russian officials will acknowledge it or not, the new statue is a monument to a Figure in history Who easily towers over and overshadows all others, and the only way to true immortality is through Him.

 

Resources

 
Why the God-Man Upstages the Coral 

  • G. Shane Morris | Breakpoint.org | March 21, 2019

Little boy at Wal-Mart praying in front of a missing children sign

Spiritual pets that pray

A rich man according to the world who died poor

http://drjamesdobson.org/popupplayer?broadcastId=2a7f9610-f86f-468b-8df7-c061ccfbefda

Military dad surprised son

https://www.facebook.com/ksltv/videos/393248518176667?sfns=mo

“I didn’t expect to see nothing alive”: Farmers hit hard by historic Midwest flooding

Read the story at the following link, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/farmers-deadly-midwest-flooding-fremont-nebraska-2019-03-19/?ftag=CNM-00-10aab6g&linkId=65016037.

Creighton coach Greg McDermott will match donations up to $10,000 for flood victims

The Creighton basketball team is continuing to do its part in supporting flood victims. Read more

A Good Father would give his life for his children

Download MP3 (right click to save)

 

It started out as a family adventure; it ended as a family tragedy. James Reddick took his 12-year-old son and his 11-year-old daughter on a hiking expedition up on Mount Rainier in Washington State. All of a sudden, a freak snowstorm arose and it created instant blizzard conditions and hurricane force winds. There was a blinding “white out” around them; they couldn’t go any further. Dad knew they had to create some kind of shelter. All he could do was to cut out a large hole in the ground; he used a cup from their cooking kit actually to do it, and then he put his children in that hole and covered it with a tarp. But the fierce winds just kept blowing the tarp away, and that left the children exposed to that deadly storm. The father tried everything he could to hold down the tarp. Nothing worked. Finally, he made one last desperate attempt to save his children. He actually lay across that hole himself to keep the snow from blowing in. Two days later, a search party noticed the edge of a backpack. They uncovered the hole and they found the two children alive and well. But first they uncovered their father who froze to death, protecting the ones he loved.

https://hutchcraft.com/a-word-with-you/your-most-important-relationship/the-magnet-in-that-old-hunk-of-wood-8400 )

Purgatory

Listen to the commentary.