Last updated on: 10/11/2011 | Author:

Joseph M. Pierre, MD Biography

Co-Chief of the Schizophrenia Treatment Unit at the Veterans Administration (VA) West Los Angeles Healthcare Center
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"

“Over the past 15 years, it has become increasingly evident that cannabis use carries an increased risk for the development of psychosis. At the same time, medicinal cannabis (medical marijuana) has been legalized in many states, with minimal restrictions on prescribing indications…

Although cannabis may have some health benefits, it also has a variety of adverse effects, including psychosis, especially among those at high risk… This case underscores the importance of 1) aggressively managing cannabis use in patients at high risk for psychosis and those already suffering from psychosis, 2) apprising physicians who prescribe/recommend medicinal cannabis of its iatrogenic and psychototoxic liability among such individuals, 3) educating the public about the risk of cannabis-induced psychosis, and 4) the need for recent evidence about this public health risk to inform policy decisions about medicinal cannabis in the United States.”

“Psychosis Associated with Medical Marijuana: Risk vs. Benefits of Medicinal Cannabis Use,” The American Journal of Psychiatry, 2010

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Co-Chief, Schizophrenia Treatment Unit, Veterans Administration (VA) West Los Angeles Healthcare Center, 2000-present
  • Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), 2000-present
  • Associate Director of Residency Education, UCLA Semel Neuropsychiatric Institute and VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, unknown-present
  • MD, UCLA School of Medicine, 1996
  • SB [Bachelor of Science, from the Latin Scientiae Baccalaureus], Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 1992
  • Received Young Investigator Awards from both the International Congress of Schizophrenia Research and the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology in 2005
Quoted in:
  1. Does Marijuana Use Increase the Risk of Psychosis (Including Schizophrenia)?