Five Ways Marijuana Harms Mental Health According to Science

Research increasingly links marijuana use to serious mental health issues.

Below are five ways marijuana harms mental health, according to science.

1. Increased Risk of Psychosis and Schizophrenia

Heavy marijuana use — especially in adolescence — is associated with an increased risk of developing psychotic disorders like schizophrenia. This is particularly true for people who are predisposed to these conditions.

Nationwide, since 2019, the number of kids diagnosed with cannabis-induced mental disorders, including schizophrenia and psychotic episodes, has increased by 50%.

2. Worsening Anxiety and Depression

While some people may use marijuana to self-medicate anxiety or depression, research shows it can actually make these conditions worse over time. Long term research has linked regular marijuana use with depression.

A report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found a disturbing 46% increase in self-harm rates among men aged 21 to 39 in states where marijuana sales were legalized.

3. Poorer Memory and Cognitive Impairment

Frequent marijuana use — especially during adolescence — is associated with lower cognitive abilities, including poorer memory, attention, and learning.

These effects may continue even after someone stops using marijuana.

4. Increased Risk of Dependence and Addiction

Marijuana is addictive, and studies have found nearly one-third of users develop some form of marijuana use disorder. The risk is even higher, up to 17%, for those who start using in adolescence.

Dependence and addiction can lead to a host of physical and mental problems.

5. Disrupted Sleep Patterns

Consistent sleep is important for mental and physical health, but research has found that marijuana is associated with poorer sleep quality. In particular, heavy marijuana use can disrupt normal sleep patterns, leading to insomnia and other sleep-related issues.

Additional Thoughts

Right now the group Arkansans for Patient Access is actively working to expand marijuana in Arkansas.

In March the group backing a marijuana in Arkansas raised more than $565,000 to place their marijuana amendment on the November ballot, according to reports filed with the Arkansas Ethics Commission.

The group has until July 5 to collect 90,704 petition signatures from registered voters to place the marijuana amendment on the ballot.

Most of the money the group raised in March appears to have come from marijuana growers and sellers.

The amendment would drastically expand Arkansas’ medical marijuana law to enable recreational marijuana statewide. 

If passed, the amendment would guarantee marijuana growers and sellers a monopoly over the state’s marijuana industry.

The amendment would give free marijuana cards to immigrants and out-of-state residents who come to Arkansas.

Marijuana users would no longer need to show they suffer from a specific medical condition listed in state law. People would be able to grow and use marijuana at home.

It also repeals restrictions on marijuana advertising.

All of this would lead to more marijuana and more marijuana use in Arkansas.

Arkansas voters rejected marijuana legalization at the ballot box in 2022. That amendment was opposed by a broad coalition of churches, business groups, elected officials, and citizens who knew that marijuana would be bad for Arkansas. We anticipate similar opposition to the 2024 marijuana amendment.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.

Arkansas State Police Seize Nearly 900 Pounds of Illegal Marijuana

The Arkansas State Police seized a staggering 886 pounds of illegal marijuana on Interstate 40 in Arkansas over the the course of 10 days, according to a prelease from the ASP.

The statement indicated the drugs originated from out of state.

Stories like these serve as a reminder that marijuana’s legalization in other states has actually fueled the black market and the drug cartels rather than weakening them.

For example, California’s Unified Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce seized more than $312 million worth of illegal marijuana it 2023.

Oregon has been inundated by industrial scale marijuana cultivation sites operated illegally by organized crime and drug cartels. Some of these marijuana operations are tied to labor trafficking and violent crime.

Oklahoma authorities describe illicit marijuana as a problem that “plagues” their state.

The list goes on.

These reports come as a proposed marijuana amendment is vying for the 2024 ballot in Arkansas — raising serious questions about what could happen in Arkansas if the state goes the same route as California, Oregon, and others.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.

What’s in the 2024 Arkansas Marijuana Amendment?

This article is part of an ongoing series tracking the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2024 and examining its possible effects on state law.

An organization in Arkansas is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to put marijuana on the ballot this year.

If passed, the 2024 marijuana amendment would drastically expand Arkansas’ marijuana laws.

Below are a few examples of changes the amendment would make to marijuana in Arkansas.

Free Marijuana Cards at Taxpayer Expense

Currently, marijuana users pay $50 for a medical marijuana card. This money helps facilitate the marijuana program.

Section 3 of the amendment would eliminate that $50 fee.

The amendment also gives free marijuana cards to immigrants and out-of-state residents who come to Arkansas to use marijuana.

Free marijuana cards likely means taxpayers will bear more financial responsibility for marijuana in Arkansas.

Enabling Recreational Marijuana

Section 3 of the amendment lets people use “medical” marijuana without suffering from one of the specific medical conditions — like cancer or glaucoma — currently listed in state law.

Letting people use marijuana without suffering from a specific medical condition listed in state law arguably would enable recreational marijuana in Arkansas.

A Monopoly for Marijuana Growers and Sellers

Sections 3 and 5 of the amendment would help guarantee marijuana growers and sellers a monopoly over the marijuana industry in Arkansas.

Repealing Restrictions on Marijuana Advertising

Section 3 of the amendment repeals restrictions on marijuana advertising.

Over the years, the State of Arkansas has enacted restrictions to help ensure marijuana advertising doesn’t target children and that advertisements don’t use a cross or other symbols commonly associated with the practice of medicine.

In 2019 the Gov. Hutchinson signed a law requiring marijuana advertisements to include disclaimers about the dangers of marijuana.

The proposed amendment would repeal and replace these restrictions.

You Can Download a Copy of the Marijuana Amendment Here.