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The Effect of Marijuana Use on the Risk for Schizophrenia

A. Eden Evins, MD, MPH; Alan I. Green, MD; John M. Kane, MD; and Sir Robin M. Murray, MD, DSc, FRCP, FRCPsych, FMedSci, FRS

Published: November 15, 2012

Article Abstract

As the debate rages over legalizing marijuana, the medical community has a responsibility to understand and share the risks associated with marijuana use. Marijuana, or cannabis, is considered by many to be safe, even therapeutic, but research has shown a connection between marijuana use during adolescence and an increased risk of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a chronic and disabling brain disorder with no cure. An international panel of experts discussed topics such as the factors that make people vulnerable to psychosis, the effects of marijuana use early in adolescence and of chronic use, and the effects of combining marijuana with other drugs and alcohol

From the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, and the Department of Psychiatry and the Center for Addiction Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston (Dr Evins); Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, and the Dartmouth Center for Clinical Translational Science, Hanover, New Hampshire (Dr Green); Department of Neurology and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, New York, New York (Dr Kane); Department of Psychiatry, The Zucker Hillside Hospital, Glen Oaks, New York (Dr Kane); Behavioral Health Services, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, Hyde Park, New York (Dr Kane); and Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, London, United Kingdom (Dr Murray).

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