A major report released by former Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Palmer, has found evidence on the long-suspected link betwenn cannabis and mental disorders. The report says that the use of cannabis, especially by youngsters, could trigger psychosis, substantially increasing the risk of mental illness and worsening existing mental health conditions.
The Mental Health Council of Australia, said the drug's dangers were underestimated and called for an education campaign.
The report finds that almost 7,00,000 Australians (accouting to 3% of the population) would become dependent on the drug at some stage. "We've got to find more effective ways of getting rid of the perception among people that cannabis is harmless and that there's no danger associated with its use," Mr Palmer said.
Though previous studies linked cannabis use and later depressions, there was no evidence to suggest that people turned to cannabis because of existing mental health conditions. But now, this study prooves the link between cannabis and mental health risks - says John Mendoza, the chief executive of the council. "And one increases the risk a further step by regular and prolonged use of Marijuana." - he added.
The report suggested the authorities to re-examine the way they dealt with cannabis use. It also said that there is an urgent need for education campaigns similar to those used for tobacco smoking and binge drinking.