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 | 6:07 pm on December 3, 2011
We trust our health to doctors. They have a position of stature and respect. Unfortunately that trust is manipulated by a healthcare system which focuses more on profit than on well being, and the repercussions of this neglect manifest themselves in public policy, politics, and in our own bodies.
Data from a study conducted between 1999-2004 by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) indicated that accidental poisoning was second only to automobile accidents as the listed cause of death. What’s shocking is the amount of increase for prescribed drugs.
‘Rates for drug poisoning deaths increased 68.3%, and mortality rates for poisonings by other substances increased 1.3%. The largest increases were in the “other and unspecified,” psychotherapeutic, and narcotic drug categories.’
How is this allowed to happen? It is a common misconception that the FDA actually tests the drugs that it is charged with approving. In fact, clinical trials are performed by pharmaceutical companies themselves and the data is passed onto the FDA for approval. This situation is the epitome of a potentially lethal conflict of interest. (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 10:17 am on November 26, 2011
No matter what level of public service, every elected official must attempt to assess the wants, needs, and opinions of their constituency in order to appeal to the greater share.
Since morality often creates the strongest opinions, subjects that are seen as criminal, unwanted, or improper such as socialism, Islam, and ‘illicit’ drug use will generate bad press for a candidate if they advocate for them outspokenly. Such press will harm their chances of being elected. (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 9:05 am on August 27, 2011
Societally we have an ingrained trust in the medical profession. Prior to the technological era, the doctor was often the most wise, educated, and trustworthy person within the community, relied upon not only for medical treatment, but for advice, counseling, and direction.
Rather unfortunately, the same cannot necessarily be said of today’s doctors who are so intrenched in the health care system dictated by the wiles of insurance companies. This combined with ever present pressure from pharmaceutical and medical technology companies to prescribe and employ their latest and greatest treatments, produces doctors who reflect their environment.
Written by Christopher Meyer | 7:29 pm on June 21, 2011
Almost imperceptibly the change began taking place, but marijuana is entering the mainstream conversation in ways that it hasn’t in the past.
With many influential politicians and public policy makers becoming outspoken about the failure of the drug war, other countries are beginning to notice (like in this simple New Zealand story), and whether you are for or against marijuana, it is undeniable that buzz about cannabis is everywhere. (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 1:43 am on November 12, 2010
This comes regarding a recent (Nov2010) decision to disqualify up to 2,000 Colorado medical marijuana patients from legal access to safe, alternative medicine because the doctor they visited had some restriction regarding their practice of medicine. Often these sorts of restrictions have nothing to do with malpractice but relate to different fields of medicine the doctor can practice and allowances for oversight of new doctors.
After over a year of working in the medical marijuana industry and having watched various legislation, city councils, and rulemaking boards decide how Coloradans’ constitutional right to medical marijuana will be regulated, I am fully aware not only of the difficulties faced in recovering our right to alternative and non-traditional medicine but also how many obstacles there are to making our voice heard when decisions that directly affect us are being made. (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 6:30 pm on October 16, 2010
Grow Deep Roots
Good plants grow slow and build deep roots. Roots go unseen but their health is always reflected in the health of the vegetation and in the fruit that the plant bears. A plant that is well rooted will thrive if it has the space and resources it needs to flourish.
The medical marijuana industry is no different. In 2009, after Obama declared that DEA agents would no longer raid medical marijuana centers so long as they operated within the bounds of State law, there was a sudden rush to open dispensaries. (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 9:43 pm on July 4, 2010
If we must take responsibility for our health and the health of our communities, how do we determine what it means to be healthy? The question seems oddly obtuse. I hear you say, “Chris, healthy is simple. Healthy is when you feel good, when you are not sick, and can expect the same when you wake up tomorrow. ”
“Okay,” I respond, “If that is what it means to be healthy, if being healthy is that simple, why is it so difficult for so many people to be healthy, or to make healthy decisions? ”
The difficulty, as I see it, is not that we don’t have a general knowledge of health in our common sense, but that in application what we call “health” today has dissolved into half-efforts and reactionary measures to what is already unhealthy. (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 9:25 pm on
As the Medical Marijuana Community begins to make itself felt and heard, and as Denver Relief participates in this movement I will begin posting blogs to discuss my perspective from inside the industry. Their intent is not to advertise, promote, or otherwise propagandize. Rather I would like to discuss the movement itself, and consider what it reveals about us socially, how it provides contrasts to the way things have been done. Medical Marijuana is profoundly representative of a set of people who are now and finally expressing their desire for control over their own existence. More than just expressing their desire for safe access to an effective medication, Medical marijuana patients are showing us that they want control over their concept of what it means to be healthy.
I will not discuss ideas of grand conspiracies to control the mind of the American people, because I think such ideas are the result of a paranoia common to all humans; the fear that something has mounted itself up against us. Rather I would like to look into ways in which we have trusted each other, and ways in which that trust has been violated. (more…)