Medical Marijuana Prescribed to Kids with ADHD

by David Knowles
November 24, 2009

In California, the state with the nation’s most permissive medical marijuana law, several doctors say that some children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, are being treated with marijuana – a fact that has sparked a heated debate.

Reliable figures on the use of marijuana to treat ADHD are hard to come by, as reported by The New York Times. Though California says it has issued more than 36,000 medical marijuana cards since 2004, the state does not compile statistics on prescriptions for specific conditions, such as ADHD. And many doctors and patients are reluctant to talk about it. Still, experts say such prescriptions are becoming more common as the number of pot dispensaries and doctors prescribing marijuana continues to grow. And not everyone is happy about it.

“Let me count the ways in which prescribing marijuana for teens with ADHD is a bad idea,” said Stephen Hinshaw, professor of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley. Marijuana, Hinshaw said, is a “cognitive disorganizer” that produces roughly the same effect in users as those associated with ADHD.


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