Pubdate: Wed, 25 Nov 2009
Source: New York Daily News (NY)
Copyright: 2009 Daily News, L.P.
Author: Catey Hill, Daily News Staff Writer
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - United States)


Hey, hyperactive kids, in California you can get stoned - legally. 
California doctors are now prescribing marijuana to children 
diagnosed with attention hyperactivity disorder, Sphere reports.

Since 2004, California has given out more than 36,000 medical 
marijuana prescriptions. The number of these prescriptions going to 
children is not known, though experts say it's on the rise. And it's 
creating quite a controversy.

"Let me count the ways in which prescribing marijuana for teens with 
ADHD is a bad idea," Stephen Hinshaw, professor of psychology at the 
University of California at Berkeley, told Sphere.

"The active ingredient in pot, THC, causes short-term memory problems 
and inattention, the very same things you want a medicine for ADHD to 
help alleviate," Hinshaw said.

Others have fewer qualms about giving a kid with ADHD some pot.

"I'd have no hesitation giving a youngster with ADHD a trial of oral 
marijuana," Lester Grinspoon, emeritus professor of psychiatry at 
Harvard Medical School and author of "Marijuana: The Forbidden 
Medicine," told Sphere.

"For some kids, it appears to be more effective than traditional 
treatments. And marijuana certainly has fewer potential dangers than Ritalin."

Ritalin, like its cousin Adderall, is a treatment for ADHD, but it's 
also an amphetamine.

"My son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 6," a Grass Valley, 
Calif., woman who wished to remain anonymous told Sphere. "He was 
hyperactive and had trouble in school, but we didn't want to put him 
on Ritalin. Too many side effects. When he got to high school, I 
suddenly noticed that he'd calmed and could concentrate. I couldn't 
figure it out. Then he told me that he'd started smoking pot."
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