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UN: Chile Leads Region In Marijuana Consumption

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
More marijuana is consumed in Chile than in any other region in South America, according to the UN’s World Drugs Report. But while more than 500,000 people between the ages of 16 and 68 are frequent marijuana smokers, the report showed that few seek treatment for marijuana addiction.

Chileans smoke more than three times the amount of marijuana consumed by neighboring Argentina – yet for every Chilean that seeks treatment for addiction, eight Argentines do the same.

According to Dr David Gorelick, who spoke at the Second International Conference of Biological Psychiatry held in Santiago last week, the problem lies in the fact that people don’t recognize marijuana as an addictive drug.

“In fact, we’ve seen that around ten percent of people who smoke marijuana become addicted,” said Gorelick. “Added to that problem is the fact that there are serious withdrawal symptoms linked to giving up the drug.”

The majority of people who give up smoking marijuana experience at least three withdrawal symptoms, according to Gorelick. These include nausea, vomiting, shaking, depression, irritability, and changes in appetite.

Psychiatrist Rolanda Chandía explained that a person can be described as addicted to marijuana if the need to obtain the drug becomes central to his life, if he wishes to give it up but cannot, and if every day begins with smoking a “joint.” While marijuana addiction is serious and should usually be treated, many of the health risks related to marijuana do not only affect people who are dependent on the drug. Marijuana use at a relatively low level can cause memory loss, a lack of coordination, loss of reflexes, and panic attacks. It has also been linked to mental conditions such as schizophrenia.

According to Chandía, a lack of awareness of the risks of smoking marijuana is particularly damaging to young people.

“For the most part, people take drugs because they’re looking for eternal youth,” said Chandía. “But psychiatrists are constantly getting young people coming in with neuronal atrophy. They have the brains of old people.”

A study by the National Council for Narcotics Control (CONACE) recently revealed that marijuana consumption among people younger than 25 increased by 64 percent between 1994 and 2004. Another study by the National Children’s Service (SERNAM) and the Universidad Católica showed that at least 50 percent of all under-18s who commit crimes have smoked marijuana in the month previous to doing so.

María Teresa Chadwick, executive secretary of CONACE, said that the upcoming reform to the juvenile penal system will mean better treatment for drug users as well as young criminals.

“Tackling the issue of drug and alcohol consumption is an important step in the task of social reintegration,” she said. “We will make this possible through a comprehensive model of treatment. CONACE is ready to deal with the new justice system.”

News Hawk- User 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: The Santiago Times
Author: Cate Setterfield
Contact: editor@santiagotimes.cl
Copyright: The Santiago Times
Website: The Santiago Times - English Language Newspaper in Santiago, Chile

Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
As soon as I hear the words addiction and cannabis together, I tend to switchoff. I hate friggin' moralists misuing ill-gotten statistics to twist truth to their advantage!


New Member
I bet they didn't check for alcohol in the people who comitted the crimes mary-j is not something that makes you go rob places man m-j is a peacefull relaxing smoke all i gotta say :rasta:


New Member
addictive my ass LOL GOD i hope i am alive to see the day where pot is officially ruled non-addictive so those bastards are forced to stop saying it is


New Member
Neural atrophy?

I'm thinking bullshit.

Value-laden language with questionable facts.

Yeah, I hear that. I don't think any study has linked even heavy cannabis use with neural atrophy.
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