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Toking Up to Treat ADD

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Which side do you fall on this debate: smoke it or don't take the toke?

Toking Up to Treat ADD

Ronda Kaysen: Marie Myung-Ok Lee evoked the ire of momlogic readers when she told us that she treated her son's autism with marijuana. It turns out she's not the only mom helping her kid toke up for his health. According to the New York Times, California doctors are doling out pot to teenage patients with Attention Deficit Disorder, claiming that the reefer really works.

"It's not everybody's medicine, but for some, it can make a profound difference," Valerie Corral, a founder of the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana, a patients' collective in Santa Cruz, told the Times. Their collective has 24 minors as registered clients.

A parent must accompany the teenage client when he turns up at a marijuana dispensary. And some say that parents are willing to go along with the plan so that their kids won't simply turn around and buy the pot illegally on the street.

Advocates insist marijuana is immensely helpful for kids with ADD, saying it alleviates symptoms like anxiety and anger. But critics are not too happy about the latest medical marijuana clientele.

"How many ways can one say 'one of the worst ideas of all time?'" Stephen Hinshaw, the chairman of the psychology department at the University of California, Berkeley, told the Times. After all, marijuana disrupts attention, memory, and concentration, three problem areas for people with ADD.

You've got to wonder if pot really is the right way to go when it comes to treating someone who already suffers from an inability to focus on the right tasks at the right time. It seems like marijuana would not have the desired effect. Since the author of the story didn't interview any teens or their parents, it's hard to know whether kids with ADD really think that pot is working for them.

next: Jury Duty: Leave the Kids Home Alone?
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