Written by Christopher Meyer | 5:54 pm on January 10, 2012
Maryland legislators propose moving forward with the state’s medical marijuana program, but would require doctors wishing to recommend marijuana undergo special training and approval.
This is an attempt to prevent a certain type of medical cannabis user from gaining access; by creating a short list of approved doctors with narrow views of who qualifies for medical marijuana treatment.
There is a persistent sentiment that medical marijuana is only appropriate for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, or for geriatric care, but evidence suggests medicinal possibilities for marijuana extend far beyond this narrow-minded approach.
Politicians who believe young people gaining access to marijuana is an indication of abuse ignore common sense and fail to see that just as with other medicines, simply because some people abuse drugs does not mean they aren’t effective in appropriate situations.
Yet, the potential for abuse of marijuana is low, as studies have suggested, and there is no reason for politicians to presume they know more about medical problems than doctors writing recommendations.
Controversy surrounding cannabis and the retinue of its opponents ensure any person, business, or professional associated with marijuana are quickly cast in a light of suspicion and ill-intent.
Perhaps the fear about marijuana is that it alters consciousness, but the argument should therefore also necessarily include alcohol, cough syrup, coffee, and tobacco. It generally doesn’t, and the argument loses credibility unless it includes all mind-altering substances.
The safety of the drug is what we should be concerned with, and as cannabis has no lethal dose — unlike commonly abused opioid pain killers – and has a very low risk factor for negative interaction with other drugs, doctors who wish to prescribe it do not need extra training or education.
Doctors are already trained to recognize those pursuing drugs to fuel addiction, and perhaps that training should be amplified, as death rates from overdosing on prescription drugs are climbing.
Factually, there is no reason to demand that doctor’s willing to recommend marijuana need extra training. Granted, doctors should be aware of the potential for addiction, but the minimal risk marijuana poses for addiction does not warrant the special scrutiny Maryland legislators are proposing
The fear prohibition brings casts a shadow on any person who associates with cannabis, be it recreationally or medically, which as I noted in a previous post, is not the crucial distinction the public forum has made it.
When politicians pretend to know more about the medical benefits of cannabis than doctors, it is our duty to call them out and remind them medicine should be available to all who seek it, not just for those with severe illness, or in the twilight of life who are deemed worthy.
Written by Christopher Meyer | 6:28 pm on December 23, 2011
A recent Gallup poll showed 50% of Americans support legalization while 70% support making cannabis medically available.
What is the important difference for the 20% of those who favor making cannabis available medically, but do not wish to give access to adults? What about cannabis recreation is undesirable? Is there ever a time when cannabis use can be both recreational and medical? (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 10:05 am on December 17, 2011
A little harmless make believe is well and good, but when delusion engenders violence, and when such imaginings destroy lives and economies those lies must be stopped.
Not by accident do these ideas remain popular opinion. Mechanisms of our government, industry, and news media work to perpetuate these myths throughout the world.
Supporters claim they operate for the good of the public, but in fact spread propaganda aimed at appealing to emotion and fear, rather than logic and rationality, and the result is a public that has formed their opinions while seeing a fearsome falsehood sold as reality. (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 10:54 am on December 12, 2011
Attorney General Eric Holder was grilled on Thursday by the House Judiciary Committee. Directly confronting Justice Department policies concerning the regulation of medical marijuana, Representative Jared Polis asked questions which most concern the medical marijuana industry as it teeters between state and federal law.
Each of the 3 topics that Polis asked about received essentially the same answer. The simple message is this: Given their limited resources, the Department of Justice will not make it an enforcement priority to prosecute medical marijuana providers that are acting in conformity with state law.
You may be thinking that the medical marijuana community is breathing a sigh of relief, but this presents no drastic change in the official policy of the Department of Justice, and there is not sign that marijuana will disapear from federal view any time soon. (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 10:43 am on November 10, 2011
This blog was nominated for the 2011 Westword Web Awards for categories ‘Best Activist Blogger’ and ‘Best Use of Social Media by a Medical Marijuana Center’. Truly the nomination is an honor in itself. Thank you Denver for the recognition.
I would like to take this occasion to explore the future of such activism and what we can expect from the marijuana movement in the year to come. (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 7:42 pm on July 7, 2011
Two years ago, the company I work for began with three partners and a modest investment in some of Colorado’s finest medicine.
They had no storefront so Denver Relief’s owners Adam, Ean and Kayvan, began a delivery business by placing an ad in the Westword and getting a unique phone number.
For many months, Denver Relief operated this way and built a loyal patient base through word of mouth about outstanding medicine and service.
This is where I came in. I was driving a taxi at the time and the transition into delivering medical marijuana was a welcome change from long hours in a cab. I know the city well and enjoyed meeting new people.
It’s strange to recall how insubstantial the business felt then, how little we knew about what we were getting into, but with the vital support of our patients we have made it this far.
Without patients who are willing to take the steps to visit their doctor and pay the fees to get legal not only would Denver Relief not exist, but medical marijuana in Colorado would not have the prominence it does today.
With several ballot initiatives for legalization coming in 2012 it is imperative that as a community we do not let down the people who have supported us up to this point. (more…)