What IS marijuana’s effect on people’s physical and mental health – and is it worth decriminalizing to find out? It’s the political, medical, social and economic million dollar question.
But besides the countless valuable testimonies from patients whose lives have been transformed with the help of cannabis, it’s important to know what medics who have studied the plant and its effects say.
While the stigma attached to advocating medical marijuana in medicine is still alive, we are seeing more and more pro-marijuana medics speak out. There have been some hugely vocal doctors who have expressed their opinion regarding the power of pot. While some rightly insist that the drug is rigorously tested and re-tested, the large part of medics understand that the plant has some actual proven and game-changing properties.
In this post, we take a look at what American physicians have publicly disclosed in regards to medical marijuana in recent years.
Physicians are the profession who are considered “key experts” in the medical marijuana debate. The basis of the entire argument, for many people, is whether the true medical value of marijuana counterbalances any possible harm it could cause.
With all their training and knowledge, physicians – in theory – should have the best insight into research, trials and new insights into the plant. More than any other profession, doctors are the most likely to read up, research and study real-life examples of patients whose conditions have been improved with medical marijuana.
The following impassioned declarations from doctors who have dedicated time on the subject may be of interest to supporters and skeptics alike:
“The time has come for marijuana to be placed back into the U.S. pharmacopeia.” Dr. Heather Auld, Obstetrician/gynecologist, Physicians’ Primary Care of Southwest Florida
“Once I realized that medical cannabis offers benefits, the question became whether, when and how to use it safely, rather than how to ban it.” Dr. David Cassarett. Professor of Medicine, Duke University School of Health and author of Stoned: A Doctor’s Case for Medical Marijuana.
“With appropriate use of medical cannabis, many of these patients have been able to reduce or eliminate the use of opiates and other pain pills, Ritalin, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, antidepressants and other psychiatric medicines.” Dr. Frank Lucido, private practice physician
“…it is irresponsible not to provide the best care we can as a medical community, care that could involve marijuana…We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that.” Dr. Sanjay Gupta, neurosurgeon and journalist.
“Cannabis is becoming increasingly understood that it is a very interesting and versatile medicine with much less toxicity than some of the pharmaceutical products it replaces.” Dr. Lester Grinspoon, Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
“Cannabis is the single most versatile herbal remedy, and the most useful plant of Earth. No other single plant contains as wide a range of medically active herbal constituents.” Dr. Ethan Russo, Cannabinoid Research Institute.
“I have found in my study of these patients that cannabis is really a safe, effective and non-toxic alternative to many standard medications.” Dr. Philip Denney, physician and co-founder of a medical cannabis evaluation practice.
“Indeed, marijuana is less toxic than many of the drugs that physicians prescribe every day.” Dr. Jocelyn Elders, pediatrician, Public Health Administrator.
“The introduction of smokeless cannabis in dosage form will immediately ease human pain and suffering and help to move medical marijuana from the underground economy to the mainstream of the nation’s health-care system.” Dr. Steven R Patierno, Deputy Director of the Duke Cancer Institute and Professor of Medicine at the Duke University School of Medicine.
“I grew up knowing that cannabis could be a medicine… I’m not aware of any proven long-term [harmful] effects from cannabis. People have been trying to find major risks [from marijuana], but I’ve never seen any documented. We know if you smoke cannabis your chances of getting lung cancer are less than if you don’t smoke anything at all.” Dr. David L Bearman, Physician and runs a medical practice specific to medical marijuana patients.
It is important to bear in mind that cannabis was used for thousands of years, both medically and recreationally, before being outlawed in the twentieth century. There are many interesting theories regarding the true reason for its prohibition, and it’s now important that as many doctors out there take the time out to study the true potential of cannabis.
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