HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Mental Disorders, Marijuana Don't Mix, Society Warns
Pubdate: Tue, 10 Feb 2004
Source: Medical Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2004 The Medical Post
Author: Deana Driver
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)


Schizophrenia Society Urges Caution When Providing Medical Weed Exemptions

REGINA - The Schizophrenia Society of Saskatchewan has sent a letter
to the provincial college of physicians and surgeons urging doctors to
be careful in providing exemptions for medical marijuana.

Sections of the letter were reprinted in a college newsletter,
suggesting physicians take a careful and complete patient history
before considering an exemption.

The letter said the Schizophrenia Society of Canada and its provincial
counterparts put forward a very emphatic protest against the
legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. "This strong
opposition was based on both supportive research findings and
first-hand experience of care-giving families that marijuana (and
other street drug usage) has been found to trigger symptoms of
schizophrenia if one is genetically or otherwise predisposed to it,"
said the letter.

"Stressful life events, including marijuana usage, have been known to
both bring on the symptoms initially as well as predispose one to
experience repeated episodes of the onset of acute symptoms of
schizophrenia. Those patients who have been known to try to cover up
these symptoms by using marijuana and/or alcohol have usually suffered
serious consequences, including relapsing to the point that they
require hospitalization," the letter said.

"Very recently, members of our society reported that their ill
relatives have been hinting at their interest to seek out medical
specialists . . . in an effort to have marijuana prescribed for their
chronic pain. Since many of these consumers can be very persuasive and
manipulative, we felt we should make you and your members aware in the
event that some of these persons whose medical history is unknown to
your members, come shopping around for such prescriptions."

The college advised any physicians assisting applicants in their bid
for exemption for medical marijuana "should be aware there are a
number of conditions in which the use of this product is
contraindicated, one of which is a history of serious mental disorders
such as schizophrenia and/or depression. Physicians assisting
applicants should take a full history, including a psychiatric
history, to rule out any such disorders."
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin