From the Editor:
As anticipated, Psychiatric Times received a number of “letters to the editor” in response to the front-page commentary in the April issue, “21st Century Reefer Madness.” Briefly, two primary issues were recurrent in many of these letters: (1) questions about potential conflicts of interest by the authors, and (2) a perceived minimization of the well-established increased risk of psychosis in children, adolescents, and young adults who use and abuse cannabis.
I intentionally wrote an accompanying editorial in the same issue (April 2019, pages 8-9) to briefly review the extensive published literature that exists related to cannabis, including its documented risks and benefits, along with the associated references. That editorial can be read here.
Regarding the question of conflict of interest, Nathan and colleagues acknowledged in their article that they all served as board members on the organization Doctors for Cannabis Regulation (DFCR.org). Psychiatric Times subsequently contacted the authors to inquire about any financial conflicts related to their board membership on DFCR. The authors replied with the following additional information:
“Membership in DFCR does not offer any financial incentives. Our physicians work on a volunteer basis, and we often use our own money to subsidize our advocacy. As I [David L. Nathan, MD, DFAPA; President, Board of Directors] previously disclosed, I am a consultant to governments, nonprofits, and industry on cannabis health and regulatory issues. Other spokespeople do as well.”
Moreover, the authors stated that: “From 2016-2018, DFCR received 11% of its income from the cannabis industry.”
The letters already received, and all subsequent letters to the editor related to this article will be posted below.
John J. Miller, MD
Editor in Chief, Psychiatric Times
May 3, 2019
Former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders is an honorary board member of Doctors for Cannabis Regulation (DFCR.org), which is the first and only national physicians’ association dedicated to the legalization and effective regulation of cannabis in the United States. Dr David L. Nathan and Dr Bryon Adinoff are board members of DFCR. From 2016-2018, DFCR received 11% of its income from the cannabis industry.
The authors report no conflicts of interest concerning the subject matter of this article.