THE MAASTRICHT EXPERIMENT.
SUBTLE EFFECTS ON STUDENTS
The conclusion of this evidenced based research was that marijuana use correlates to the worst academic performance.
THE MAASTRICHT EXPERIMENT.
The first line of attack by pro drug activists is to dismiss clinical observations. They insist that if reports are not based solely on science they are unacceptable. However it takes decades to provide evidence based scientific research to demonstrate some of the effects of marijuana. e. g. gateway drugs progression theory and such is the case with the ‘loss of potential’.
It has been known for decades that there is a loss of potential associated with marijuana use. Since the 1970s numerous clinical studies suggested that the academic standards of students who were using cannabis declined. For students who were high achievers their exam results often dropped from excellent to average and conversely the results of average students declined accordingly. Most parents and teachers are aware of this and so it will be no surprise to them that these ‘observations’ have been supported by a research study that was published by the Maastricht University in 2015.
The Maastricht study created a unique situation, where students at the University could be separated into groups. The study involved those who could legally buy marijuana and those who could not. The studies concluded that students who could no longer legally buy cannabis increased their exam results substantially – particularly the classes that require more math’s and numerical knowledge.
This being the case it needs to be understood that the decline in achievement should be seen in substantive academic areas in terms of the student’s previous performance not in terms of the performance. *
FOOTNOTE: In time the city of Maastricht crime rates tripled compared to those of cities further from the border of Holland and other countries.
FOOTNOTE: For decade’s marijuana use and sales has been legal in the Netherlands and could also be purchased in coffee shops and cannabis outlets around the region. Unsurprisingly, there was a massive increase in drug tourism.
SUBTLE EFFECTS IN MIDDLE AGE
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results”
There is a whole range of factors associated with the use of marijuana. Sometimes personality changes occur within weeks or months of starting to use it. Other people maintain their normal lifestyles for many years and the deterioration of potential skills and personality is so gradual, that marijuana is not seen to be associated with these changes.
There are many middle-aged users who have been smoking marijuana for years and do not show any of the signs or symptoms associated with its use. However according to a number of clinical observations in many cases people in this age group have settled into lives limited by their use of the drug, and indicators are likely to be difficulties associated with thinking and failure to make commitments. One thing is clear, the younger a person starts using marijuana the more serious the consequences, and as long as this contemporary obsession with drugs keeps gathering momentum the greater is the risk of younger people becoming involved.
MORTALITY AND MORBIDITY
“Suicide does not mean there was no killer “
The question of death from drug use is closely linked to the pharmacology of the particular drug and the user's level of tolerance to it. Tolerance is also related to the user's own body chemistry and the length of time and level of concentration of the substance and the frequency of use.
Take the case of heroin (diacetylmorphine) overdose occurs when users exceed their level of tolerance. Because heroin is a depressant drug, the body's vital functions, especially the lung functions, are depressed to the point where breathing ceases and death ensues. In the case of cocaine, which is a stimulant drug, overdose is associated with gross over-stimulation of bodily functions, especially of heartbeat that can result in heart attack, heart failure or stroke.
The pharmacology of marijuana includes some stimulant and hallucinogenic properties, but it is primarily a depressant drug. Because it is fat-soluble and is gradually stored in the body in larger and larger quantities, marijuana acts more slowly so that we do not see either the dramatic shutdown or acceleration of body functions that we see in the case of heroin or cocaine.
There has never been a death directly attributed to marijuana through overdose, though studies are demonstrating that marijuana may be a contributing factor, and like nicotine and alcohol, the risk of death or disability may be attributed to its use.
Evidence clearly demonstrates that there is a relationship between fatal road accidents and the use of marijuana, particularly marijuana used in combination with alcohol. There is also a relationship between marijuana use and suicide. Sadly I have met many grief stricken parents whose sons and daughters have committed suicide. Their experiences are chillingly similar.
REFER STUDIES CANNABIS VIOLENCE
Dear Mrs Walters
As parents grieving the loss of their eldest son by suicide twelve months ago two weeks before his 30th birthday, we are more than ever convinced that marijuana was the cause of his state of mind (his own doctor told me so).
We have always been very upset and disturbed because three days before our son’s death we went to our own G.P. for help and he said don’t worry, it’s not as bad as alcohol. We then rang more counselors, and upon being asked if it was a possibility that my son would hurt himself, the guy said marijuana doesn’t do that to you. However we knew better, seeing a clear change of mood in our son since he began smoking and whenever he had been smoking. He often became depressed, moody and always anxious and weary.
Maybe your book will help our family and us and allow us to be of help to someone else.
R.A. – Victoria
Dear Mrs. Walters,
I am writing to you as an ex-marijuana smoker who gave up the ‘habit’ only when a close friend of mine, who was diagnosed as being a schizophrenic, committed suicide while being high on marijuana. It was only after this crux event happening in my life that I knew I had to make a change before it was too late. My life was falling apart, I hardly spoke to my friends or family, had no job and knew if I didn’t make a change right then that I would be the next one to go. I consider marijuana use a social disease in epidemic proportions.
S.R – Victoria
One of the problems I and others close to Jason faced in the lead up to his suicide between 29th March and 9th April was we just did not know what we were dealing with and clearly, our expectations of the hospital were higher than what they measured up to.
I might add that the source of greatest assistance we have had has been the Victorian Police Force, particularly Operations 222. On reflection, I think Jason would have been in better hands if he had remained in the police lockup at Carlton rather than going back to that bunch of psychopaths masquerading as psychiatrists at St. Vincent’s.
Marijuana is a curse and harming too many, how much longer can this madness go on, the war on drugs cannot be lost at all costs!
D.E. – Victoria
Dear Mrs. Walters,
At Last!! Someone who agrees with a parent!
I first noticed a change in my son’s behaviour 7 years ago. It was another 2 years before I could find out the cause of this change.
Marijuana cost my son his life.
In the beginning people said “Don’t worry, they all do it.” I was appalled! My son was in danger and I knew it. Over a period of twelve months, three of his friends (all chronic marijuana users) suicided. All anyone would say, “He’ll grow out of it.”
This drug is ruining our children’s youth and future.
R.N. – Victoria
At the age of 20 our son started showing signs of anti-social behaviour and at a later date began hearing voices and afraid someone was out to get him.
About the same time we became aware that he had been smoking cannabis with his mates on a regular basis.
At the age of 21 he was diagnosed as a schizophrenic. My husband, myself and our three other teenage children were shattered by the experience of seeing someone we love who was intelligent, had a trade and was successful at sports become lazy, suffered severe depression and unable to work.
The doctor treating our son at the time commented he was suspicious of the effects of cannabis.
At the age of 25 our son tried to take his own life with an overdose of anti-depressant. After ten days in hospital, four in intensive care, he was allowed home.
Can you imagine the trauma and worry, we as a family, suffered? After eight years of medication to control his illness and which has to be taken for the rest of his life. We now look at a very damaged person, who can no longer hold down a job or sustain a lon- term relationship.
We, as parents, have the added worry of what is going to become of him when we are no longer here to take care of him.
A.R. – Queensland
On the radio a couple of weeks ago the discussion on marijuana made me recall the shocking/devastating/horrific experience my brother’s family went through when Daryl, their son, my nephew, finally developed into a paranoid schizophrenic after years of dabbling in various drugs (he told me he’d used ‘pot and LSD together).
In the end he died of exposure in a family paddock not that far from the original family property after fleeing from the imagined people who were ‘after him’, and doing so in mid summer heat in fear and panic, collapsing and dying before he was found. He was 26. He was Dux of his high school. He first ran into these drugs at Sydney University. He was never a good mixer. It’s a long story – tragic, pathetic, and frightening and the ripples still go out in the aftermath.
K.R. – Victoria
The suicide of my 20-year-old daughter was the result of mental disturbance triggered by the use of marijuana that we are still trying to come to terms with mixed feeling of anger, guilt and frustration, and time doesn’t completely heal. I guess we shall always have the hurt.
S.N. – South Australia
I often wonder how authorities who undermined the efforts of those of us who did their best to disseminate the dangers of marijuana through books, leaflets, speaking engagements and involved ourselves in the public narrative ever feel any sense of remorse or a sense of responsibility for the death and havoc they caused by maintaining their conspiracy of silence.
I wish I could say these are isolated cases, but over the years I have heard many similar stories. The dissemination of information to the Australian public about the risks associated with marijuana and other drugs lagged years behind international research. It is too late to redress the damage that such misinformation to a generation caused in the Australian community, particularly as far as marijuana is concerned. It is certainly too late for many families. Hopefully it is not too late to acknowledge the failure of the harm minimisation policies. Or are we destined to continue to drift along in a state of indifference and apathy and allow pro drug activists often masquerading as political advisors to create even more havoc with their cockamamie theories?
FOOTNOTE: The most commonly implicated mental conditions for suicide are schizophrenia and depression and substance abuse disorders are becoming recognized as a major risk factor, especially for young males.
FOOTNOTE: These are just a small selection from the many letters I have received linking cannabis to acts of violence. There is no doubt that the consequences of cannabis use have been seriously underestimated
REFER REFERENCES - STUDIES ON VIOLENCE RE CANNABIS