Medical Director of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program at Boston Children's Hospital and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School
Con to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"
"Marijuana is an addictive drug...
Several recent news reports have portrayed the short term benefits of marijuana for children with complications of chemotherapy, seizures, and autism. While the anecdotal reports can be dramatic, we do not know how these children fare in the long run. Modern medicine has learned the hard way that very promising looking therapies can ultimately turn out to cause more harm than good. Let's not let history repeat itself...
Many proponents of 'medical marijuana' portray marijuana use as harmless - ignoring a growing body of literature linking marijuana use in adolescence to mood, anxiety and thought disorders as well neurocognitive decline over time... Anecdotally, nearly all of the patients treated in the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program at Boston Children's Hospital who use tobacco would like to quit because of health concerns, while few adolescents can understand why we advise them to stop using marijuana."
"Letter to the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health," mcaap.org, Feb. 19, 2013
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:
Medical Director, Adolescent Substance Abuse Program, Boston Children's Hospital, 2000-present
Physician, Boston Children's Hospital, July 1997-present
Assistant Professor, Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
Chair, American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Substance Abuse
Researcher, Division of Developmental Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital
Member, leadership team, SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana)
Recipient, Dyson's Fellowship, Boston Children's Hospital, 1997-1999
Residency, New York University School of Medicine, 1993-1995
Internship, New York University School of Medicine, 1992-1993
Former chief resident, pediatrics, Bellevue Hospital (New York City)
MPH, Harvard University
MD, New York University School of Medicine, 1992
BA, Neurobiology, University of Pennsylvania, 1988
Cowritten with S.K. Harris, "Results of a Statewide Survey of Adolescent Substance Use Screening Rates and Practices in Primary Care," Substance Abuse, Sep. 2012
Cowritten with P.K. Kokotailo, "Substance Use Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment for Pediatricians," Pediatrics, Nov. 2011
Cowritten with J.R. Knight, "The National Debate on Drug Testing in Schools," Journal of Adolescent Health, Nov. 2007
Cowritten with J.R. Knight, L. Sherritt, S. van Hook, and E. Gates, "Motivational Interviewing for Adolescent Substance Use: A Pilot Study," Journal of Adolescent Health, Aug. 2005
Cowritten with S. Harris, E. Gates, D. Holder, J. Kulig, and J. Knight, "Test-Retest Reliability of Adolescents Self- Report of Substance Use," Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, Aug. 2004
Cowritten with S. Van Hook and J.R. Knight, "A Review of Internet-based Home Drug Testing Products for Parents," Pediatrics, Apr. 2004
Principal investigator of the SAMHSA-funded medical residency Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) project at Childrens Hospital Boston and of an NIAAA-funded study validating the youth alcohol screening tool in a population of youth with chronic medial illness.