There have been several debates over cannabis causing mental health problems, but new studies are telling a different story. Researchers have found Cannabis does not increase the risk of developing anxiety or depression, but those who used cannabis had an increased risk of developing alcohol and drug use disorders.
In a study published by JAMA Psychiatry (February 17, 2016) the researchers wrote: “Our findings suggest caution in the implementation of policies related to legalization of cannabis for recreational use, as it may lead to greater availability and acceptance of cannabis, reduced perception of risk of use and increased risk of adverse mental health outcomes, such as substance use disorders.”
The Journal of School Health published a theory of marijuana not being the gateway drug, but rather alcohol. The study concluded: “The findings from this investigation support that alcohol should receive primary attention in school-based substance abuse prevention programming, as the use of other substances could be impacted by delaying or preventing alcohol use. Therefore, it seems prudent for school and public health officials to focus prevention efforts, policies, and monies, on addressing adolescent alcohol use.”