Your April 6 article "Kern's decision to close shops likely to face legal challenge" caught my attention. I have been trying to become more informed about marijuana because of the actions of the Bakersfield City Council and the Board of Supervisors to oversee marijuana use locally.
I write some of the facts I've learned while informing myself about marijuana challenge.
In the last 30 years psychiatrists and epidemiologists have scientifically researched marijuana's dangers. Marijuana has dramatically changed since the 1970s when THC content was 2 percent. Due to farming, cloning and demand for higher THC content by users it routinely contains 20-25 percent THC. In states that have legalized it, users often demand extracts which are almost pure THC.
Rob Kampia, co-founder of the Marijuana Policy Project, admits the organization has always viewed medical marijuana laws as a way to protect recreational use.
The National Academy of Medicine in 2017 found that "cannabis use is likely to increase with the risk of developing schizophrenia and other psychosis; the higher the use the greater the risk."
In 2014 people who had diagnosable "Cannabis Use Disorder" made up about 1.5 percent of Americans but they accounted for 11 percent of psychosis cases in emergency rooms.
In September 2018, a large federal survey found a rise in serious mental illness in the U.S., especially among young adults, the highest users of cannabis.
It has been shown that psychosis is a shockingly high risk factor for violence and in a 2009 paper PLOS Medicine found that people with schizophrenia are five times more likely to commit violent crimes as healthy people and they are 20 times more likely to commit homicide. People with schizophrenia are only moderately more likely to become more violent than healthy people when taking antipsychotic medicine but when they use drugs their risk of violence multiplies. Despite supporters of cannabis claims that it makes users relaxed and calm, a Swiss study published in June 2018 in Forensic Psychiatry found that young men with psychosis and who used cannabis had a 50 percent chance of becoming violent, four times higher than those that did not use cannabis.
It is reported cannabis fuels violence through its tendency to cause paranoia.
A 2012 paper in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence found marijuana use was associated with a doubling of domestic violence and is associated a disturbing number of child deaths from abuse and neglect; more than alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamines and opioids combined.
The number of Americans who use cannabis regularly is soaring. From 2006 to 2017 the number of users has nearly tripled.
Psychosis, mental illness, schizophrenia, violence and paranoia. Facts associating marijuana with such conditions is slowly becoming public. I applaud the council members and supervisors' wisdom to provide regulation for marijuana for the safety of us the citizens.
Karen Johnson, Bakersfield