Consultant in the Department of Pysciatry and Psychology at the Mayo Clinic
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"
"Some research suggests that marijuana smokers are diagnosed with depression more often than are nonsmokers — particularly regular or heavy marijuana users. However, it doesn't appear that marijuana directly causes depression. It's likely that the genetic, environmental or other factors that trigger depression also lead to using marijuana. For example, some people may use marijuana as a way to cope with depression symptoms.
There are also links between marijuana and other mental health conditions. Marijuana use may trigger schizophrenia or detachment from reality (psychosis) in certain people. There is also some evidence that adolescents who attempt suicide may be more likely to use marijuana than those who don't. As with marijuana use and depression, more research is needed to better understand these associations.
The bottom line: Marijuana use and depression accompany each other more often than you might expect by chance, but there's no clear evidence that marijuana directly causes depression."
"Expert Answers: I'm curious about marijuana and depression. Can marijuana cause depression?," Mayo Clinic website (accessed June 11, 2012):
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:
Associate Editor, Philosophy, Ethics and Humanities in Medicine, 2009-present
Co-Chair, Treatment Improvement Committee, American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, 1999-present
Consultant, Department of Pysciatry and Psychology, Mayo Clinic, 1999-present
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 1996-present
Medical Director, National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, 1986-1999
Faculty member, Cornell University Medical College
Faculty member, New York Medical College
Faculty member, George Washington University Medical School, 1993-1994
Recipient, Alumni Achievement Award, University of Missouri at Kansas City, 1987
Fellowship, Chemical Dependency Fellowship, Mayo Foundation Scholar, Cornell University, 1983-1984
Residency, Adult Psychiatry, Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 1980-1983
Internship Fellow, Internal Medicine, Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 1979-1980
MD, University of Missouri at Kansas City, 1979
BA, Biology, University of Missouri at Kansas City, 1978