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Feb-21-2011 19:59printcomments

Marijuana and Schizophrenia: Cause or Therapy?

Nobody has ever said or printed that marijuana CAUSED Schizophrenia; what was Time's editorial staff thinking?

apples and elephants
Sort of like apples and elephants; a TIME article's suggestion that cannabis and schizophrenia are a bad mix is irresponsible and wrong; in fact the opposite is far more likely.

(MOLALLA, Ore.) - This story is engendered by an article in TIME Magazine Feb. 21, 2011 entitled Pot and Schizophrenia: A Dangerous Mix. To put it mildly, TIME is full of crap and so are the authors of the medical article from the University of New South Wales in Australia. It states they reviewed 83 studies and found that POT smokers who developed psychotic disorders did so 2.7 years before non-smokers.

The medical article is very suspect and I will try to explain why. Since 1937, when the U.S. Government outlawed the use of Marijuana, an almost certain way to get a Government Research Grant with beau coups bucks was to study and report the BAD effects of Marijuana. Hundreds of “researchers” got thousands of dollars for this pseudo-research. Medical literature up to about the year 2000 was wall-to-wall with these phony articles.

To amuse myself, I searched Marijuana and Schizophrenia and found dozens of articles as I stated above.

Australia is purported to have a very high use of Marijuana and their Government, like the U.S., is very vigorously but futily trying to “stomp it out”. That appears the reason for these articles.

The Merck Manual indicates that the world wide prevalence of Schizophrenia is about 1%, and they occupy about 25% of Hospital beds in institutions, whether the population uses Marijuana or not.

The U.S. Government estimates that 10,000,000 Americans use Marijuana daily. This being “true” how come there are not a whole bunch of Marijuana psychos running around loose. They aren’t!

California has about 500,000 Marijuana permit holders. I will admit many Californians are a bit flakey – I am myself, but schizo?? Nah!

California legalized Medical Marijuana about 12 years ago with very liberal regulations about which patients can use Marijuana. There are about 70 physicians in California who sign for most of the permits. Some have recorded the disease conditions for which patients may receive these permits.

I reviewed some of the Schizophrenia articles by title. The earliest I found was in 1987 which indicated that the Schizophrenic patients preferred Cannabis. Another dated 1997 indicated that these patients were self-medicating with Caffeine, Nicotine, Alcohol, Marijuana and Cocaine in that order.

Nobody has ever said or printed that any of these were CAUSING Schizophrenia. Some articles pointed out that “substance abuse” was a frequent cause of Schizophrenia. I think it was concurrent use!

In California, where 95% of permit holders have been using Marijuana for years, if the patient says it WORKS for their medical condition they get a permit.

In Germany, Leweke found CBD (Cannibidiol) worked for 42 patients (2007). In the U.S., DeSouza found THC worked for 13 patients (2005). Hergenrather found Marijuana worked for about 30% of his 1160 patients (2005). Denny reported success with 15% of his 18,900 patients (2005). Nunberg found it useful for 29% of her 53,000 patients.

Please understand me as the reporter. In the states where it is permitable, substantial numbers of patients are using Marijuana for mental disorders. The patients pay a high price for medication which truly works.


Dr. Phillip Leveque has degrees in chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, toxicology and minors in physiology and biochemistry. He was a Professor of Pharmacology, employed by the University of London for 2 years, during which time he trained the first doctors in Tanzania. After training doctors, he became an Osteopathic Physician, as well as a Forensic Toxicologist.

Before any of that, Phil Leveque was a Combat Infantryman in the U.S. Army in WWII. He suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 60 years after the war, and specialized in treating Veterans with PTSD during his years as a doctor in Molalla, Oregon. Do you have a question, comment or story to share with Dr. Leveque?
Email him:

More information on the history of Dr. Leveque can be found in his book, General Patton's Dogface Soldier of WWII about his own experiences "from a foxhole". Order the book by mail by following this link: DOGFACE SOLDIER OF WWII If you are a World War II history buff, you don't want to miss it.

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Anonymous March 3, 2011 1:55 am (Pacific time)

Indeed, “Associated with” is not the same as “causation” Schizophrenia affects approximately one percent of the population. That percentage has held steady since the disease was identified, while the percentage of people who have smoked marijuana has varied from about 5% to around 40% of the general population. Source: Kindly Google any of the following combinations: Nicotine and Schizophrenia Alcohol and Schizophrenia Chocolate and Schizophrenia Sugar and Schizophrenia Gluten and Schizophrenia So should we hand the market in any of the above substances to criminals (which is what prohibition effectively does) because its use is 'associated' with a certain minute part of the population? Many bipolar patients misuse caffeine and tobacco in an effort to bring on a manic state, thus becoming a danger to themselves or others. Should tobacco and caffeine or whatever works for each individual be prohibited to boost ratings or rhetoric also? Where does it end? Persons with chronic mental illness die 25 years earlier than the general population does, and smoking is the major contributor to that premature mortality. This population consumes 44% of all cigarettes. Source: Cigarette smoking rates in the American population are approximately 23%, whereas rates of smoking in clinical and population studies of individuals with neuropsychiatric disorders are typically two- to four-fold higher. Source: Caffeine is most certainly linked with mental illness; psychosis even. Here’s some reading: Broderick, P. and Benjamin, A.B. (2004). Caffeine and psychiatric symptoms: a review. Journal of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, 97(12), 538-542. Hedges, D.W., Woon, F.L. and Hoopes S.P. (2009). Caffeine-induced psychosis. CNS Spectrums, 14(3),127-129. According to Bryce Tierney, Loughner, once said, “I’m going to lead a more healthy lifestyle, not smoke cigarettes or pot anymore, and I’m going to start working out.” Tierney was happy for his friend: “I said, ‘Dude, that’s awesome.’ And the next time I saw him he was 10 pounds lighter.” Tierney never saw Loughner smoke marijuana again After Loughner apparently gave up drugs and booze, “his theories got worse,” Tierney says. “After he quit, he was just off the wall.” We can continue to blame, and attempt to prohibit, any of the above substances, but nothing will change except for the fact that criminals will become richer, terrorists will grow stronger, and our corrupt politicians will call for even more infringements on what's left of our freedoms by passing laws that will take us even closer to total economic and social collapse. So pat yourselves on the back …as this 'once great and free' nation dies a little more with each passing day.

Randye Kaye February 23, 2011 8:12 am (Pacific time)

thank you, thank you, Dr. Leveque. As a NAMI educator, and mother of a child with schizophrenia (who lived to write a hopeful memoir about it, coming out this summer), it has always been my understanding that my son used pot as a reaction to what was happening in his brain as he became ill - and that the marijuana was not the cause of his schizophrenia. Thank you for revealing the flaws in the the Australian study. This is nobody's "Fault".

Brandt February 22, 2011 4:18 pm (Pacific time)

Marijuana is the safest drug with actual benefits for the user as opposed to alcohol which is dangerous, causes addiction, birth defects, and affects literally every organ in the body. Groups are organizing all over the country to speak their minds on reforming pot laws. I drew up a very cool poster for the cause which you can check out on my artist’s blog at Drop in and let me know what you think!

Duncan20903 February 22, 2011 6:30 am (Pacific time)

A good reason for Schizophrenics to be diagnosed earlier because of cannabis involvement is because of cannabis involvement. That is, it's a lot more likely that someone who's on the cusp of 'flaking out' who gets busted and brought to the attention of authorities. The "doctors" in the study talk about "onset", but they are really referring to the time of diagnosis. I suspect that if we compare a cannabis using schizophrenic diagnosed 2.7 years before a non cannabis using schizophrenic, we would find both at similar points in the disease's progression when the non-user is diagnosed. I especially appreciated the statement of Dr. Matthew Large of the Prince of Wales Hospital in New South Wales, Australia who said, "…few patients with psychosis start smoking [marijuana] for the first time." “...The picture looked similar irrespective of the type of psychosis,” Large says. So it seems like good news to me. Didn’t the man just say that the total whack job loonies prefer to be cannabis free? Isn’t another way to say the same thing is to say that the full blown mentally ill prefer total sobriety, no? And it’s not limited to any specific psychosis. Every stripe of deranged, psychotically ill unfortunate rejects using cannabis once they’ve gone totally around the bend. It sounds like a resounding endorsement of enjoying cannabis if you axe me. I for one concur with the assertion that one would have to be bull goose looney crazy to not enjoy cannabis. Put that in your pipe and smoke it Mr. Kerliefries.

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