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Pot has bad rap, says prof

An associate professor at UBC Okanagan will expand on his findings that marijuana could help addicts kick other drugs during a free public lecture next week.

Dr. Zach Walsh will speak Jan. 24 on the subject Cannabis and Mental Health, from 4 to 5 p.m. in Room 204 of the Fipke Building.

Walsh says up till now, research has focused mainly on problematic use of the drug and subsequent negative mental health outcomes.

But, he and colleagues recently published the most comprehensive review of cannabis and mental health to date. They found that for some, it may have potential as a treatment.

Marijuana could help some alcoholics and opioid addicts kick their habits, their study found.

​The review also found some evidence that cannabis may help with symptoms of depression, post-traumatic stress and social anxiety. 

The study was recently published in the journal Clinical Psychology Review.

Walsh will discuss current literature on the subject and examine why pot should be subject to the same risk-versus-benefit evaluations as other medicines.

Walsh is an associate professor in the UBC Department of Psychology and co-director for the Centre for the Advancement of Psychological Science and Law. He is the principal investigator for an upcoming clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of cannabis for chronic PTSD.

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