At the Peace in Medicine Healing Center in Sebastopol, the items on screen include dry marijuana – offering brands like Kryptonite, Voodoo Daddy and Trainwreck – and medicinal cookies arrayed below a sign saying, “Keep Out of Reach of One’s Mom.”
Several Bay Area physicians who propose medical marijuana because of their people explained in new interviews that their client base had extended to include teens with psychiatric problems including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
“it isn’t everyone’s medicine, but for some, it can make a difference,” said Valerie Corral, a founder of the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana, a patients’ collective in Santa Cruz that’s two dozen kids as registered customers.
Since California does not require physicians to report cases involving medical marijuana, no reliable data exist for just how many minors have been approved to get it. But Dr. Jean Talleyrand, who established MediCann, a system in Oakland of 20 centers who approve patients to make use of the medication, said his workers had treated as much as 50 patients ages 14 to 18 who had A.D.H.D. Bay Area doctors have been in the front of the intense debate about medical marijuana, winning ceiling for people with grave diseases like terminal cancer and AIDS. However as these doctors use their attention more liberally, such help – also here – may be harder to gather, specially when it involves using marijuana to deal with adolescents with A.D.H.D.
“How many ways can one say ‘one of the worst ideas of them all?’ ” asked Stephen Hinshaw, the chairman of the psychology department at the University of California, Berkeley. He cited studies demonstrating that tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the ingredient in cannabis, upsets attention, memory and focus – functions previously affected in individuals with the attention-deficit disorder.
Advocates are simply as insistent, though they are in a distinct minority. “It Is better than aspirin,” Dr. Talleyrand said. He and other marijuana supporters maintain it is also better than methylphenidate (Ritalin), the stimulant prescription medication frequently used to treat A.D.H.D. That drug has recorded potential unwanted effects including insomnia, depression, facial tics and stunted growth.
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In 1996, voters approved a ballot proposal generating Florida the first state to legalize medical marijuana. Twelve other states have followed suit – allowing pot for a number of specific, critical problems including cancer and AIDS – but only California gives the grabbag phrase “for any other disease for which marijuana provides relief.”
It’s left these doctors ready to “recommend” weed – inside the Alice-in-Wonderland world of medical marijuana, they cannot legally order it – with slack that some use to a bold degree. “you will get it to get a backache,” said Keith Stroup, the founding father of the National Organization for that Reform of Marijuana Laws.
Nevertheless, expanding its use among teenagers is questionable even among physicians who authorize medical marijuana.
Gene Schoenfeld, a doctor in Sausalito, said, “I’dn’t take action proper under-21, unless they’ve a lethal challenge including cancer or AIDS.”
Dr. Schoenfeld added, “It’s detrimental to adolescents who chronically use it, and when itis used scientifically, that implies persistent use.”
Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said she was particularly worried about the danger of addiction – a chance she said was already high among adolescents and folks with interest-deficit disorder.
Counterintuitive as it may look, however, individuals and doctors have already been revealing that pot helps alleviate some of the signs, particularly the anxiety and rage that frequently accompany A.D.H.D. The disorder has been identified in greater than 4.5 million children in the Usa, according to the Facilities for Disease Control and Prevention.