Faculty: Peter Banys, MD, MSc; Timmen Cermak, MD; Sam Naifeh, MD
Institute Members: $35
Graduate Students and Institute Candidates: $25
An initiative legalizing recreational use of marijuana will be on the California ballot in November. If passed, it will shift the policy umbrella under which marijuana use is addressed from criminal justice to public health, repudiating several core assumptions framing the international “War on Drugs.” In the past cannabis has been demonized, criminalized, and conflated with more dangerous substances. Psychological processes of demonization or idealization can, and do, obscure evidence. More recently, decriminalization in twenty-three states and the District of Columbia has served to de-stigmatize marijuana use and exaggerate its medicinal benefits. These changes are part of a well-considered campaign to shift prevailing archetypes from daemon to panacea—as a prelude to legalization of recreational use.
If the initiative passes, juvenile use will remain illegal. Though medical and psychological risks for both casual and frequent adult users have been exaggerated, evidence shows that marijuana use by youth leaves them vulnerable to cognitive slippage, learning impairments, school dropout, and legal issues. Teens who believe marijuana safer than cigarettes are more likely to smoke marijuana. The Proposition 64 Legalization of Marijuana initiative provides significant levels of funding in California for drug education, prevention, and for early intervention and treatment when warranted that can help them make responsible choices about cannabis use.
This seminar explores the medical, psychological, social, and policy implications of marijuana legalization, including developmental impacts of marijuana use on adolescents and young adults. This information is useful for funding future program development and for educators, policy developers, decision makers and mental health as well as health professionals and administrators in relevant areas.
Peter Banys, MD. MSc is a member of the faculty at UCSF, has founded two addiction fellowship programs, and engaged in clinical care and research in addiction medicine. Recently he spent two-and-a-half years in Hanoi developing methadone programs and community screenings for depression. He is on Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom’s Blue Ribbon Commission on marijuana law reform.
Timmen Cermak, MD is in private practice in Mill Valley. He co-founded the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA), was president and board chairman. As California Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM) President from October 2009-11, he co-authored CSAM’s Youth First Report. He is on Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom’s Blue Ribbon Commission (BRC) on marijuana law reform. He lectures on clinical science and brain chemistry of cannabis.
Sam Naifeh, MD is an analyst member of the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco and has a private practice in San Francisco. He teaches analytical psychology for the Institute's candidate and professional programs, psychotherapy community, and at UCSF. Sam’s special interests include developmental models in schools of analysis, group process, and treatment in addiction and recovery.