Claude Lavallee MD: Medical marijuana’s dubious status |

Claude Lavallee MD: Medical marijuana’s dubious status

Claude Lavallee MD

Robert Allen’s piece on the marijuana dispensary owner prompted me to try to clarify the issue of “Medical Marijuana” from the perspective of an emergency physician with 25 years of practice.

I have had my share of encounters with recreational drugs of all sorts and their effects on health and social issues.

Marijuana is arguably one of the most benign recreational drugs around. In the emergency, I have only occasionally seen domestic violence, automobile accidents or criminal activities in people who have solely marijuana on board. More often than not this phenomenon is associated with alcohol alone or a combination with cocaine, meth, cannabis, etc.

Given its low impact on society, marijuana is a recreational drug whose illegal status under federal law might need a review.

Another issue is the use of marijuana as a therapeutic agent.

Despite anecdotal testimonies of people with terminal illnesses, there is no good scientific evidence for the medical use of marijuana. There are far better medications for the control of pain and nausea associated with cancer and other terminal conditions than marijuana.

But let’s suppose there exists a yet-to-be-proven medical benefit.

The fact is most card-carrying medical marijuana users do not have a terminal condition and most doctors who write those prescription are well aware of this.

The disturbing truth is some doctors are willing to bend their sense of ethics to accommodate a society in search of its next high.

The effort to legalize marijuana as a recreational drug failed and medicine became it’s a Trojan horse. The marijuana lobby has succeeded in legalizing pot using medicine as an alibi.

That is a moral dilemma for legislative bodies throughout Colorado to ponder.

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