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February 26, 1992

Ads From the Partnership for a Drug-Free America

Author Affiliations

San Antonio, Tex

JAMA. 1992;267(8):1072. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480080042016

To the Editor.  —Here are some facts concerning the Partnership for a Drug-Free America (PDFA) advertisement that appeared in an issue of JAMA.1 Addressing the psychiatric profession, the advertisement stated, "The side effects of self-medication with marijuana may themselves be a major component of a patient's psychiatric profile." No other substances already proven to be more harmful were mentioned. It is well-known that cannabis use does not cause mental illness. If a psychiatrist is treating someone, that person already has a problem that cannabis use (or any other substance and/or habitual behavior) may exacerbate.The possible symptoms outlined in the advertisement were accurately listed. What it did not include was that, according to the US Department of Justice's Drug Education Program Manual,2 those symptoms are the rare exceptions. The same publication noted that, besides the fact that a person's level of mental stability is a factor, "Marijuana