It’s time to respond to our next major drug epidemic.
For years, the opioid crisis has been the leading concern when it comes to substance use. There’s certainly good reason for this emphasis, but as a result, the harms associated with other drugs have successfully been able to avoid the spotlight.
In my view, cannabis use is now the biggest contributor to mental health and substance use problems that, up until quite recently, nobody was talking about. While it may not be the most toxic substance on earth, it is arguably the one where the largest chasm exists between its actual dangers (which are substantial) and its perceived dangers (which to a lot of people are zero).
Similar to the science of global warming, research demonstrating the risks of cannabis has been steadily growing over the years to the point of being overwhelming.
Perhaps the scariest risks have to do with psychosis and psychotic disorders, particularly with the ultra-potent products now dominating the market, but there is also plenty of evidence for other things such as suicide, anxiety, PTSD, harms to a developing fetus, and progression to so-called “harder” drugs such as opiates and methamphetamines.
In contrast to the stereotype of cannabis users as silly and docile, research shows links between its use and violence with cannabis being a significant part of the lives of a disturbing percentage of mass shooting perpetrators.
© 420 Intel