Letter to the Editor, New York Times: Challenging Unsupported Claims of Cannabis Dangers

Opinion | Is Legalizing Marijuana Too Risky? – The New York Times

Alex Berenson’s Op-Ed offers hyperbolic assertions and a biased interpretation of scientific literature. Mr. Berenson claims that cannabis leads to violence. While some studies indeed show an increase in violence across specific populations of cannabis users, many others show the opposite or no effect. Violent individuals may self-medicate with cannabis, but correlation is not causation.

Prohibition has failed to decrease cannabis use while costing billions and criminalizing millions — disproportionately people of color. Fortunately, most Americans, weary of our national epidemic of unsupported claims, reject prohibitionists’ fearmongering and support a regulated system of adult cannabis use as a more humane and effective approach.

Originally printed at New York Times

Bryon Adinoff MD

Bryon Adinoff, MD (DFCR Executive Vice President) is an addiction psychiatrist and academician. He was appointed Clinical Professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine following his retirement as Distinguished Professor of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and as a psychiatrist for 30 years with the Department of Veterans Affairs. He has published over 175 papers and book chapters on the neurobiology and treatment of addiction and is Editor-in-Chief of The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. In his semi-retired status, he is evolving from focusing on the consequences of substance use itself to the consequences of the drug war. As a Founding Member, his commitment to the goals of DFCR arises from his desire to ensure that the harsh, punitive prohibition of cannabis use is replaced by a regulatory system that protects both the individual and society.

David Nathan

David L. Nathan, MD, DFAPA (DFCR Founder, Board President) is a psychiatrist, writer, and educator in Princeton NJ. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. While maintaining a full-time private practice, he serves as Director of Continuing Medical Education for the Princeton HealthCare System (PHCS) and Director of Professional Education at Princeton House Behavioral Health (PHBH). While serving on the steering committee of New Jersey United For Marijuana Reform (NJUMR.org), Dr. Nathan was surprised by the absence of any national organization to act as the voice of physicians who wish to guide our nation along a well-regulated path to cannabis legalization. This need was the inspiration for Doctors for Cannabis Regulation.

Posted in DFCR, Op-Eds / Letters.