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Mo Med. 2012 Mar-Apr;109(2):90-8.

Legalization, decriminalization & medicinal use of cannabis: a scientific and public health perspective.

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  • 1Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, USA.


Empirical and clinical studies clearly demonstrate significant adverse effects of cannabis smoking on physical and mental health as well as its interference with social and occupational functioning. These negative data far outweigh a few documented benefits for a limited set of medical indications, for which safe and effective alternative treatments are readily available. If there is any medical role for cannabinoid drugs, it lies with chemically defined compounds, not with unprocessed cannabis plant. Legalization or medical use of smoked cannabis is likely to impose significant public health risks, including an increased risk of schizophrenia, psychosis, and other forms of substance use disorders.

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