Marijuana: Doctors poll shows overwhelming support for medical cannabis

Categories: Marijuana

medical marijuana doctor.jpg
Physicians around the world overwhelmingly support medical marijuana, according to a poll conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine last month. Focusing on the hypothetical case of a breast cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy and experiencing pain and heavy nausea, the poll asked doctors if they would recommend cannabis to alleviate symptoms.

Nearly 1,500 doctors from 72 countries responded, with the majority coming from Mexico, Canada and the United States. The results: 76 percent said they would recommend cannabis to patients for medical purposes.

In Colorado, respondents fit in with the national trend, with about two-thirds agreeing that medical cannabis use would be appropriate. In reality, though, only a small percentage of Colorado doctors recommend cannabis. Out of about 13,000 primary-care physicians and specialists, no more than 900 of them have written red-card recommendations for the 107,262 active patients on the registry.

But practicing medicine in a medical marijuana-friendly state wasn't required for a "yes" vote on the poll. In fact, for every state in which more than ten doctors responded, the vote was overwhelmingly in favor of legalized medical cannabis. All but the State of Utah, that is, where only one out of 76 doctors was pro-ganja.

Otherwise, the general consensus was definitely that patients should have access to medical marijuana with a doctor's supervision. "Physicians in favor of medicinal marijuana often focused on our responsibility as caregivers to alleviate suffering," the report notes. "Many pointed out the known dangers of prescription narcotics, supported patient choice, or described personal experience with patients who benefited from the use of marijuana. In sum, the majority of clinicians would recommend the use of medicinal marijuana in certain circumstances."

Doctors opposed to medical cannabis use cited a lack of research evidence, inconsistency of dosage and concern over side effects, including psychosis. But another sizable portion of those responding said that marijuana shouldn't fall under the health-care umbrella at all: It should be legalized, they said, and it should be up to patients to decide for themselves whether they want to use cannabis.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana magazines as porn rule officially struck down at no cost to taxpayers" and "Marijuana vending machines coming to a recreational pot shop near you?"


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67 comments
Cannabidiolator
Cannabidiolator

Many cite lack of clinical research, but all refuse to conduct research for fear of the feds. I testified many times at the legislature asking for research to be allowed, but 64 only allows buying from monopolies to get stoned. All medical research is still illegal.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

"In reality, though, only a small percentage of Colorado doctors recommend cannabis."

Gee. Ya think fear of the DEA might have a little to do with that?

yodownmuthalicka
yodownmuthalicka

Especially if you vaporize the cannabis. Take away any negative effects from combustion and smoking, and get a pure effect with full flavor. For those of you who have never vaped, I would highly recommend getting a nice fresh flower of your favorite strain and vaporize it at medium heat on a Vapor Brothers vaporizer. The experience is second to none, the medication is as strong as a normal smoked hit, and the flavor is escalated to a more thorough range of tastes and colors. Not to sound too weed-geeky, but with a vaporizer you completely experience the subtle notes and hidden aromas that are scorched and burned up in the combustion process!

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

Especially to 12 yr opiate addicts like myself . I had a 'script writin' Doc , who basically switched alcoholism for prescription pill ABUSE ! Over 1,200 opiates per month . I'm the only person I know on the shit, so I had NOTHING to base my level of addition on, to, or with .

In the last year I GOT A NEW DOC, & have my count down to UNDER 400 ! She TOO is ALL about alternative medicines absent the threat of addiction .

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

NEJM presented the case of Marilyn, a 68-year-old woman with metastatic breast cancer. We asked whether she should be prescribed marijuana to help alleviate her symptoms. 

To frame this issue, we invited experts to present opposing viewpoints about the medicinal use of marijuana. J. Michael Bostwick, M.D., a professor of psychiatry at Mayo Clinic, proposed the use of marijuana “ONLY when conservative options have failed for fully informed patients treated in ongoing therapeutic relationships.” Gary M. Reisfield, M.D., from the University of Florida, certified in anesthesiology and pain medicine, and Robert L. DuPont, M.D., a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical School, provide a counterpoint, concluding that “there is little scientific basis” for physicians to endorse smoked marijuana as a medical therapy.


J. Michael Bostwick, M.D.

Within established doctor–patient relationships, I endorse thoughtful prescription of medicinal marijuana for patients in situations similar to Marilyn's. A largely anecdotal but growing literature supports its efficacy, particularly for pain or nausea that is unresponsive to mainstream treatments. But physicians face a catch-22: although 18 states have legalized medicinal marijuana, physicians in those states who write prescriptions violate the law of the land.

Arguments for and against medicinal marijuana are manifold. Under federal law, the drug is illegal.  In Colorado, a handful of physicians write half the state's prescriptions for medicinal marijuana, for questionable indications. Just because a few rogue doctors flout lax legislation to abet pot-mill commerce, that doesn't justify depriving all physicians of the right to prescribe medicinal marijuana.

rogue doctors flout lax legislation to abet pot-mill commerce

rogue doctors flout lax legislation to abet pot-mill commerce

rogue doctors flout lax legislation to abet pot-mill commerce


Wow! ... and this is from the Doctor who is FOR limited, specific use of MMJ.


Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@yodownmuthalicka As a patient, I vaporize and use edibles; I never smoke. Frankly, the best result (for pain) has been from edibles themselves. It's just not as fast, so sometimes the vape comes in handy.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@yodownmuthalicka  Thanks ! My doc JUST brought this up on Monday and I promised to investigate . Appreciate being pointed in the right direction !

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Juan_Leg 

HipTip: "addiction" ain't so bad, if it doesn't ruin your life.


Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay 

Of course, liberal advocacy of substances is not limited to pot. A big problem is that doctors in general prescribe pharmaceuticals far too liberally. This has traditionally gone for a large variety, including antibiotics.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident  

Doctors SHOULD show RESPONSIBILITY & ACCOUNTABILITY w/ their prescription pads !!!  This to include random pill counts and blood tests ! This should be LAW !!!

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@Juan_Leg @yodownmuthalicka

In my experience, there isn't a perfect vape, but the Herbalaire and Arizer Extreme seem 1 and 2. FWIW, I also have a Volcano, and they're both better, IMO. If you absolutely love using bags, you could argue the Volcano is faster. Haven't tried Bickel & Storr's new one. It's supposed to be right up there (but, of course, very expensive.)

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Juan_Leg 

I believe House M.D. once said "I'm not addicted to opioids. I'm addicted to not being in pain."

Of course, he was addicted to opioids, but in the context of cannabis for pain, it's a provocative statement.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@DonkeyHotay @Juan_Leg  

You haven't a clue how powerful of statement you've just made here , Hotay . 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident ... just because your MD prescribes something, doesn't mean you -- the patient -- have to take it.

It's YOUR body / life ... make your OWN decisions.

Hope that helps.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident  

It would INSTANTLY solve prescription fraud and eliminate the negative effects it has left on those who REALLY ARE IN NEED .... 

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@DonkeyHotay  

If it were a different name and it was 10 yrs ago, YES I WOULD HAVE . Now, not on your life ! Remember, I sought out a new doc who is on the same page as I .

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@DonkeyHotay @Juan_Leg  I do NOW !

I'M NOT MAKING sense , sorry .

Detoxing right now for REALS !

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Juan_Leg ... so you take full responsibility for YOUR OWN "addiction" to opiods.


Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@DonkeyHotay  

Friend, this is one of the extremely few topics where I know more than you .

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Juan_Leg ... just because a Doctor prescribes it, doesn't mean you MUST take it.

If a Doc prescribe a gram of Meth, self-injected into your jugular ... would you do it?

hth.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident ... some patients find relief in Whisky and/or Heroin ... should Physicians prescribe those based upon patient request and anecdotal stories of efficacy ??


Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@Juan_Leg @Cognitive_Dissident Hey, I don't use the Volcano. If you like party bags, you might want it. I've also got a Vapir Mini O2...I don't use it because I don't like the taste. Let me know, and we'll figure it out. 

Seriously, though, I recommend both the Extreme and the Herbalaire, and naturally, not looking to sell, but a lot of folks like the Volcano, and it doesn't suck.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@Cognitive_Dissident  

Anyone of those for sale ? It's like the e-cigg . I've spent a small fortune trying them ALL ! 'Vuse' is, will be, the way to go .

Just trying to save a buck & give the $$$ to a friend .

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@Cognitive_Dissident  

I can't watch the show . It get's me 'jonesin' .

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@Juan_Leg @Cognitive_Dissident Well, I would normally say "edibles." I haven't tried the high-CBD very-low-THC stuff yet--supposedly you can get a free clone or free seeds from a local outfit (think the story was in WestWeed, they were going to distribute at a 420 gig.) I need to go some other route because I have a doctor's note, but stopped renewing the red card (way back) because I hate their list and the sharing.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@Cognitive_Dissident  The more input I receive leads me to believe what I lack is 'KNOWLEDGEABLE' support . My experimenting w/ street drugs was very limited and short lived,  growing up between Denver & Houston . Alcohol & pot was a different story .

Now that I'm a cripple after surviving being run over by a train, hit by a car while in my wheelchair in a crosswalk, (the latter occurring twice), I'm defined by how I can function while in severe pain . ESPECIALLY, since I became hell bent on getting my pill intake 'under control' .

Suggestions ??????

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

And it wouldn't have been possible w/o my new doc .

I didn't know when I put down the bottle, I was picking up a REAL addiction ! I trusted my 'original' doc and was clueless & blind to my own addiction .

Someone PLEASE tell me controlled addiction is okay ! While you are at it, how does one make pain disappear ? REAL PAIN !!! NOT you pathetic pill chasers !!!

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@Cognitive_Dissident @DonkeyHotay  

I hope this exchange between us three is read by many who are in my 'shoe' . I'm a 'pharmaceutical  junkie' driving his OWN way back into control over his own life !....

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@DonkeyHotay  

I do trust the doc I have NOW  & that's what's most important concerning me personally .

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident @Juan_Leg

Just because someone is in a given Profession doesn't mean they are good at it ... or even competent.

e.g. "politicians" in the legislature ...  "cops" in law enforcement ... "journalists" at WW.

HTH.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@Cognitive_Dissident @Juan_Leg @DonkeyHotay  

Precisely !

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Juan_Leg ... blindly trust a Doctor like you would blindly trust a McLawyer ... at your peril.


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