I recently came across an article on so-called “medical marijuana” in one of my go-to physician’s journals.
This misleading, politically correct term gets thrown around to create a cloak of legitimacy for a dangerous, debilitating, recreational drug. And it’s creating widespread professional problems for physicians.
First of all, the term “medical marijuana” implies that physicians “prescribe” it according to a medical standard of practice.
But to legitimately “prescribe” medical marijuana as a treatment, it would require establishing standard dosages, forms, potencies, schedules, and durations of “treatment” — as with any prescription drug. (I always seek to establish these standard procedures when recommending dietary supplements instead of drugs.)
But none of these standards exist for marijuana.
Therefore, there’s no such thing as a legitimate medical “standard of practice.” And any doctor who prescribes “medical marijuana” is really just winging it. (So, as far as I’m concerned, anyone who uses medical marijuana has “a fool for a doctor, and a fool for a patient,” as the old saying goes.)
Plus, variations in sources, concentrations, packing, and size of the rolled leaf make it impossible to know how much of the active ingredient a patient gets with each dose. And it’s impossible to know exactly how much of the active properties in marijuana a patient actually absorbs.
And we haven’t even touched on the legal nightmares “medical marijuana” creates…
Legal headaches for physicians
Legally, if a person intoxicated by “medical marijuana” harms or kills another person, they can be sued. And the injured party will almost certainly win. In addition, the prescribing doctor can be sued for malpractice.
As a consulting forensic pathologist, the legal standard for medical malpractice is essentially the failure to abide by a medical standard.
In the case of medical marijuana, we know there’s no solid medical standard of practice. So really, there’s nothing for physicians to follow!
Therefore, it’s fairly simple to establish malpractice in a court of law by proving physician negligence if they didn’t follow the medical standard of practice. I can only imagine the countless number of cases out there grappling with these very issues.
Traditionally in the U.S., you have the freedom to engage in behavior that may harm yourself, just as long as it doesn’t harm others.
This freedom protected cigarette smokers for a while. But in the 1980s, the government’s behavioral scientists found some pseudo-science to support the idea that second-hand smoke could potentially harm others. And then, the draconian hammer came down on society as a whole. And obviously, the same line of thought sparked Prohibition.
Meanwhile, these same types of scientists continue to give marijuana smoke a free pass. Even though we now know marijuana smoke is three times more harmful than tobacco smoke.
In addition, marijuana causes a slew of other harmful side effects, ranging from heartbeat abnormalities to brain shrinkage to mental illness. (Tobacco hasn’t been shown to cause any of those clear-and-present dangers.)
When I see pot-heads persistently posting on the internet that “marijuana never killed anyone,” it would almost be laughable…if it weren’t so tragic.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for “medicinal” effects, I’ve reported on half-a-dozen other widely legal herbs that possess similar pain-relieving properties, but without the intoxicating effects.
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“As Cannabis Consumption Grows, What Should We Tell Patients?” Medscape (www.medscape.com) 3/20/2018