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Marijuana Users Experience Mental Problems

October 5, 2010

Users of cannabis have been found to suffer mental health problems twice as often as non-users, according to a study released Monday by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

In a statement, the company said: “the percentage of people with a less good mental health is two times higher among cannabis users than non-users.”

The study, conducted between 2007 and 2009, involved around 18,500 people. CBS found that 20 percent of male users complained of mental problems, while 28 percent of female users complained of mental problems. By comparison, 10 percent of male non-users of cannabis and 14 percent of female non-users complained of mental problems.

Mental problems that users complained of most often included anxiety, melancholy, sadness and impatience. CBS said physical health in both groups barely differed.

Of those ages 15 – 65 years old that took part in the study, CBS found that four percent had smoked cannabis at least once in the past 30 days.

Although cannabis is technically illegal, the Netherlands passed an official tolerance policy in 1976 that allows consumption and possession of up to 0.18 ounces (five grams) of the substance.

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