Last updated on: 12/30/2011 | Author: ProCon.org

Robert S. Stephens, PhD Biography

Title:
Chair of the Psychology Department at Virginia Tech
Position:
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"
Reasoning:

“It shouldn’t surprise us that there is a positive side to marijuana use. After all, why else would people smoke it? It’s also not surprising that drug education usually emphasizes the negative effects. Some believe that talking too much about the positive effects might encourage more people to start using and lead to more negative effects in the long run.

But there are over 10 million people in the United States who currently use marijuana, and they already know about the positive effects.

Might some of them have noticed some of the not-so-positive effects? Like Homer [Simpson], they may be wondering if the costs of using outweigh the benefits, or vice versa.

Depending upon our own personal experiences, either answer may seem obvious. But it’s not always that easy. We see many adult marijuana users who are conflicted about the costs and benefits of marijuana use and the pros and cons of quitting or reducing use.”

Cowritten with Roger A. Roffman, “Did Homer Go to Pot?,” Seattle Times, May 17, 2002

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
    Experts
Individuals with MDs, PhDs, JDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to medical marijuana. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to medical marijuana issues.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Chair, Psychology Department,Virginia Tech Univeristy, Nov. 3, 2006-present
  • Professor, Psychology, Virginia Tech Univeristy, 2006-present
  • Associate Professor, Psychology, Virginia Tech Univeristy, 1995-2006
  • Assistant Professor, Psychology, Virginia Tech Univeristy, 1989-1995
  • Research Assistant Professor, Social Work, University of Washington, 1986-1989
  • Psychologist, Florida State University, 1983-1984
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant, Psychology, Florida State University, 1982-1983
  • Teaching Intern, Behavioral Science, Broward Community College North Campus, 1981
  • Research Assistant, Psychology, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, 1978-1979
  • Member, American Psychological Association
  • Member, Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy
  • Member, American Psychological Society
Education:
  • Postdoc, Addictive Behaviors Research Center, University of Washington, 1986
  • PhD, Clinical Psychology, Florida State University, 1985
  • MS, Clinical Psychology, Florida State University, 1981
  • BS, Pyschology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1978
Other:
  • Born Jan. 19, 1957