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 | 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 | 4:09 pm on October 19, 2011
Naturally occurring cannabinoids found in medical marijuana that interact with the immune and nervous systems have been shown to have anti-tumor properties.
Even with an abundance of supporting evidence, the US still limits research on cannabis in US labs with a heavy hand. Despite the concerted effort of a wide range of cannabis activists, the US will not reschedule marijuana to Schedule II where medicinally valuable controlled substances are grouped including cocaine, used as an anesthetic, and opioid pain killers. (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 6:10 pm on October 13, 2011
In a shocking betrayal of president Obama’s campaign promise not to interfere with medical marijuana in states where citizens voted to make it legal, US Attorneys in California have sent letters to landlords of prominent dispensaries threatening criminal charges and property seizure if they don’t evict their tenants.
It was that same promise that ultimately led to the Green Rush of 2009 and 2010 in Colorado. Hopeful cannapreneurs with slightly less fear of federal scrutiny took to opening retails centers, while patients signed up in droves. (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 6:10 pm on September 6, 2011
It is a cruel irony that the de-prohibition of the cannabis plant used as a medicine could occur before legal hemp production comes to fruition in the United States.
The oldest know human artifact is an 8000 year old piece of hemp cloth found in the Mesopotamia (modern-day Turkey) where western human civilization began.
It suffices to say that the cannabis plant has accompanied humanity throughout our history for its usefulness as a fiber, as a food, and as medicine. (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 | 11:22 am on August 19, 2011
- Tenth Amendment
This is the second part in our series exploring how the advancement of the marijuana movement does more than just erode prohibitionist attitudes, and has far-reaching benefits in many aspects of our society.
Ending marijuana prohibition in Colorado isn’t just about the medicine. The ability of states to set laws that govern what goes on within their borders as provided by the Tenth Amendment is also at stake. (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 12:57 pm on August 14, 2011
Consider the recent death of a teenager in jail who was arrested for marijuana possession after being stopped for not having lights while riding his bike at night, and take it as an example of myriad other tales of ruin that have come as a consequence of the war on drugs.
With this in mind, I will be exploring how the marijuana movement is representative of much more than just fighting cannabis prohibition.
This is the first part of a many part series investigating the many facets of this theme. Now, let us explore how the prosecution of cannabis users and producers has played a part in the lives of Americans. (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 11:23 am on August 6, 2011
Until she finds out, Arizona’s medical marijuana program is on hold. Meanwhile untaxed, unregulated collectives are being formed.
This has evoked a response from US Attorney Scott Risner who filed a motion asking the federal judge to dismiss the case saying, “Their complaint presents no actual controversy, instead asking this Court for an advisory opinion as to a hypothetical dispute in which Plaintiffs [State of Arizona] themselves pick no side but rather resort to a purported disagreement among various fictional Defendants [State Employees].” (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 2:40 pm on July 28, 2011
You won’t hear about limits to how many barley plants a brewer may grow, or how many cocoa leaves a pharmaceutical company may possess to manufacture pain killers, yet Colorado’s newly enacted regulatory scheme not only requires that medical marijuana businesses limit the number of plants according to the number of patients that they serve, we must also connect specific plants to specific people.
Aggravating the situation is a graduated fee schedule the State of Colorado has created for medical marijuana center license. This means the more patients who declare a medical marijuana center as their primary provider, the more the medical marijuana center has to pay in licensing fees. (more…)