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 | 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 | 5:11 pm on January 13, 2011
Here is a story on the Westword Latest News Blog that talks about the revisions being made by health department’s medical marijuana advisory committee as they draw closer to submitting their proposals to the Board of Health about future regulation of the medical marijuana industry.
Kayvan, one of our owners, serves on MMAPR’s board of directors, and it is good to see that the committee responds well to organized and legitimate efforts. The mobile doctor’s office serves rural areas where doctors are hard to find, let alone doctors sympathetic to MMJ. (more…)