In the last week, two scientific papers have made a renewed case against cannabis based on the potential risks to users’ mental health. Rather than dismissing them as more prohibition propaganda, Cannabiz editor-at-large Rhys Cohen analyses the evidence and what it means for industry advocates.

When a scientific paper is published that even hints at the possibility of cannabis having medicinal or socially beneficial effects, people in the industry (such as myself) are quick to celebrate. A lot of the time, the technical content of these publications goes over our heads. I, for one, am not a scientist. But we are happy to take the scientists at their word.

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Cannabiz editor-at-large Rhys Cohen

When a paper concludes that some kinds of cannabis use may be risky or harmful, we tend to dismiss it. Our impulse is to disbelieve the findings because they conflict with our established beliefs. You can’t blame pro-cannabis people for being sceptical – we’re only now emerging from decades of literal propaganda, deliberately orchestrated by the most powerful institutions in the world. There’s that old saying: just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

Rhys Cohen

As well as being editor-at-large at Cannabiz, Rhys is the director of Cannabis Consulting Australia, which provides commercial consulting services to various domestic and international cannabis companies....