I just wanted to discuss an irritating article I saw earlier today from the Daily Mail (sent to me by one of our colleagues). The article said that recent research out of Montreal found a link between cannabis use and violent behavior. The article did not link or reference the specific research study, nor did it bother to explain anything about what sort of information was gathered, other than that there were over 1,000 participants in the study. The article heavily implied a causal link. I have made an intentional effort to not include the article here because it was obvious that it was clickbait.
As a result, I had to do some digging to find the research paper, linked below:
The research paper found a correlation between cannabis use and violence when acute psychiatric patients used it after being admitted to a hospital for a severe psychological case. The paper itself reads pretty normally for a correlational study, and made a point to emphasize that this research was only applicable to psychiatric patients who were admitted for acute psychiatric events. It also pointed that this was a correlation, and not necessarily a sign of causation.
I just wanted to make this post to address yellow journalism, particularly when it comes to science. If you ever see somebody claiming “scientific evidence,” always ask them to provide a source. Never take the phrase “scientific evidence” to mean fact. The strongest arguments in science are theories and laws, not evidence. Evidence is merely a jumping off point for further research.
Thanks! Angry rant over.