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Comment: Re:Potheads assemble! (Score 3, Informative) 178

by BlackHawk-666 (#47675415) Attached to: Hemp Fibers Make Better Supercapacitors Than Graphene

Marijuana doesn't have the same dramatic effects as meth, and there are people who are long-term users who suffer very few side effects from this drug. There is however a small chance that it can lead to temporary or even permanent psychosis. There is still some debate over this issue, but I can assure you it's quite real.

A while ago I spent some time in a mental facility and one of the patients there was that unlucky 1 in 700,000 who was vulnerable to the psychotic effects that marijuana could cause. He was a good student who was just starting university. Intelligent, articulate, and with excellent grades - he had good prospects for a long and happy life.

His mother worked as a nurse at that hospital so she could spend time with her son, and I received this information directly from her. At uni he tried marijuana, just a few times. I get the impression he was just a typical uni kid enjoying his new freedom and he started to smoke it because his new social circle were smoking it. Pretty typical stuff. He had an adverse reaction (I think over a short time period of maybe week or so) and had to be hospitalised due to psychosis.

By the time I met him, he had been in hospital for 12 years. He had no teeth left, since he couldn't look after them they had to all be removed. He was heavily medicated but was still liable to fits of anger and hitting other patients for something simple like sitting in his chair. He was barely able to speak and never managed more than a couple of mumbled, often unintelligible words. There was a rec room where we could watch a TV which was behind a plexiglass panel we needed to lift up to change channels. He had a tic that meant every 1-2 minutes he needed to get up, walk to the TV, life the plexiglass, run his hand over the top of the TV, then sit down again. He might do this 100+ times in a day.

While it's easy to think there's no dangers using marijuana, and admittedly, they are few and low - it's not totally without cost or risk. This man will spend the rest of his short life in that mental institution, unable to read, play games, go outside, speak to others, share friendships or talk about the good old days. He will never experience any of the myriad of things that you and countless others can - and that is directly attributed to a fairly small quantity of weed he smoked - he wasn't trying any other drugs at the time.

Certainly, he had a disposition towards this happening, but it was marijuana that pushed it over the limit and completely fucked his entire life.

We have a decent welfare system and free hospitalisation in Australia, so he is getting the care he needs. You could argue that as taxpayers who are shouldering that cost we do get a say in whether people consume the drug or not...but, I'm not going to bother with that argument, it's not the important one.

Enjoy the smoke if you can amd avoid it if that's that you prefer. Just bear in mind, however small, there is a chance of psychosis that may in same rare cases be permanent - and weed is a known contributor to this condition.

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