Mental health risk doubles with dagga

2010-10-04 21:59

The Hague - Dagga users suffer mental health problems twice as often as non-users, a study published on Monday by Statistics Netherlands said.

"The percentage of people with less good mental health is two times higher among cannabis users than non-users," CBS said in a statement.

The study, which was carried out between 2007 and 2009 and involved some 18 500 people, found that "20% of male cannabis users complained of mental problems, compared to 10% among non-users."

The proportion was the same for women, with 28% of users complaining of mental problems, compared to 14% among non-users, CBS said.

Smokers complained of mental problems such as anxiety, melancholy, sadness and impatience, but CBS said the physical health of users and non-users barely differed.

The study found that 4% of the participants (aged 15 to 65) had smoked cannabis at least once in the last 30 days.

Though technically illegal, the Netherlands decriminalised the consumption and possession of under 5g of cannabis in 1976 under an official "tolerance" policy.