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 | 6:07 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 | 5:14 pm on November 3, 2011
Last week people showed support for a drug-free world by pinning red ribbons to their clothing. Throughout this country there are fellow citizens who believe, each in their own way, that drugs (you know, like heroin) have no place in our society. An admirable, albeit misguided, cause.
The term ‘drugs’ includes too much to bear the dream of indeed having a drug-free world, the battle cry of those with the red-ribbon. ‘Drugs’ can include anything from alcohol (not leaving anytime soon) to meth (probably should be done away with).
It’s not that I doubt their intentions. Addiction has many forms, and many are destructive, but other sorts of addiction, like eating, are quite beneficial. The grey area between track marks and drinking coffee is something that should be left up to individual choice.
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 | 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.