Senior Medical Officer at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Con to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"
"In these last few years it has been published in many papers, mainly from emergency services around the world, that, in my view, confirm our findings regarding cardiovascular acute events after cannabis smoking. The documentation for the involvement of cannabis in psychotic episodes is growing as well. The side effects of cannabis appear clearer now than it did a few years ago in the disfavour of cannabis. The question of use of cannabis for medical conditions will have to weigh the possibility of side effects against the clinical benefit. This may result in a decision in favour of cannabis for some patients with special circumstances, but in general, I do not see cannabis as a more useful drug than other therapeutic alternatives."
Email to ProCon.org, Oct. 23, 2009
[Editors Note: Dr. Bachs had previously provided the following Con position in a Dec. 1, 2005 email to ProCon.org.]
"About marijuana as a medical option, I do not think that marijuana has more advantages than other therapies, taking the side effects into consideration. So the answer is no."
Key Experts Physicians [Physicians are the "key experts" in the medical marijuana debate because the issue is thought by many to be ultimately based on the medical value and risks of marijuana, and Physicians, with their training and clinical work, should (at least in theory) have the best knowledge of marijuana's medical value and risks.] [Note: Key Experts definition varies by sites that have this designation.]
Involvement and Affiliations:
Senior Medical Officer, Divisions of Forensic Toxicology and Drug Abuse, Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Recipient, International Association of Forensic Toxicologists award for "Best Poster Presentation in Helsinki", 2000