Share your opinion on the debate about the legalization of marijuana

January 12, 2013

Ever since we announced that Dr. Michael Dennis, developer of the GAIN, a standardized biopsychosocial measure that integrates research and clinical assessment, will be presenting at the 26th annual Children’s Mental Health Research and Policy conference, we have been receiving requests for more discussion on substance abuse issues.

Here is post that you may want to read and respond to at

  • Dr. David Nathan, a psychiatrist from New Jersey, responds to David Frum’s article which takes a firm stance against the legalization of marijuana.  Frum supports the decriminalization of marijuana, but believes that due to the physical, developmental and social harms of the drug, it should not be legalized.  In response to these arguments, Dr. Nathan suggests that the relative harms of marijuana are inferior to those of other legalized substances (e.g. alcohol) and the majority of harm associated with marijuana is due to the costs accrued by involvement in the justice system.  Dr. Nathan also refutes the gateway hypothesis and suggests that legalizing marijuana for adults would reduce exposure to more harmful illicit drugs because obtaining marijuana would no longer be through a black market where dealers are also pushing drugs like heroin and cocaine.  Dr. Nathan includes some of his personal observations through his experience as a psychiatrist supporting the idea that the devastation caused by marijuana among his clients is unlike that of alcohol and other drugs, because the suffering is not caused by the drug itself, but rather the consequences imposed by the justice system to combat marijuana use.

    To read the original articles, click the links below:

    Dr. David Nathan: Why marijuana should be legal for adults

    David Frum: Marijuana use is too risky a choice

  • Share your opinion and get involved in the discussion at
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