Thursday, April 22, 2004

Paging Dr. Cheech, paging Dr. Chong, please report to pediatrics...


As a California pediatrician and 49-year-old mother of two teenage daughters, Claudia Jensen says pot might prove to be the preferred medical treatment for attention deficit disorder — even in adolescents.

"Why would anyone want to give their child an expensive pill … with unacceptable side effects, when he or she could just go into the backyard, pick a few leaves off a plant and make tea for him or her instead?" Jensen asked the Drug Policy Subcommittee of the House Government Reform Committee earlier this month.

While some wonder whether Jensen was smoking some wacky weed herself, the clinician for low-income patients and professor to first-year medical students at the University of Southern California (search) said her beliefs are very grounded: The drug helps ease the symptomatic mood swings, lack of focus, anxiety and irritability in people suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders like ADD and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

OK, I am not one of those who say marijuana shouldn't be available by prescription. I reason that there are plenty of prescription drugs that are as potent (if not more so) than pot, and with a script folks ought to be able to get it.

But for kids? Sorry... not going to cut it with me. There are, in my estimation, far TOO MANY kids who are being treated for ADD/ADHD etc. Are there kids who need to be treated? Sure. But has it become a catch-all for every kid who acts up? Absolutely yes.

Say no to drugs, all drugs, unless you absolutely need them.

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