DEA Hands Out Ultimatum to Massachusetts’ Medical Marijuana Physicians:

With the passing of Massachusetts’ Medical Marijuana Bill earlier this year, that takes the count to 24 states and the District of Columbia now with active legislation repelling the federal ban on pot. Even though the tide is turning for marijuana-friendly legislation the long arm of the law (mainly the DEA) still reaches from sea to shining sea. Apparently, now that the feds are losing their stronghold on how and what medications physicians prescribe there are reverting to loosely-worded threats. At least seven physicians have reported visits from DEA agents at their homes and offices telling them that they need to either sever all ties with the medical dispensaries in their area or voluntarily relinquish their prescriber’s license. Clearly, their action is meant to intimidate and discourage providers from giving an unbiased recommendation. I thought it was my doctor’s job to provide me with “appropriate ends” regardless of third-party interests, not acquiesce to federal agencies acting against a patient’s personal treatment plan? This seems like a simple case of “right to choose.”

A patient has the right to choose the way they are cared for.
A doctor has a right to choose from the best possible therapies.
A representative democracy has the right to choose to enact laws that reflect the wishes of its people.

An article published in this week’s Perspectives section of the New England Journal of Medicine entitled Medical Marijuana, Physicians, and State Law by George Annas, J.D., M.P.H. tries to reconcile the new “fab” in state legislation and physician’s prescribing practices. The medical community as a whole has traditionally shown outright skepticism and disbelief of any research or scientific data that promotes marijuana as a medicinal agent. Even when presented with solid double-blind studies and successful completion of peer-review, you can be sure nearly every medical journal will label it as quackery.

Even though new research continues to come out supporting the claims of marijuana’s medical efficacy the current establishment is far from accepting these as legitimate. Certainly not that which has been previously demonized as America’s “gateway” to addiction. I guess the more appropriate question to ask is, who benefits from the decriminalization of marijuana? Is it the patients that can now receive effective management of their symptoms/condition or is there a seedier side to physician referrals? What does the MD get for promoting pot? Before anyone blows a stitch, there’s already checks and balances in place preventing doctors from gaining financially based on their treatment plan. The author of NEMJ’s article also makes a clear distinction between when a doctor is acting in the best interest of his patient and a doctor’s actions padding his pocketbook (see 1975 Supreme Court Case involving U.S v Moore).

Dr. Moore apparently was a moron, he sold prescription methadone without actual seeing or talking to the patient. Literally, he would write a script for whatever crazy amount the patient wanted and then charged more than the pills were actually worth. The courts deemed this idiot in a lab coat guilty and “in practical effect, acted as a large-scale ‘pusher,’ not as a physician.” Once again, this is a clear cut case, of stupidity. Please, let’s all take a minute and let the fact that Dr. Moore was a LICENSED PHYSICIAN in the U.S. sink in!!!! That means he holds multiple college degrees and was given a passing grade on multiple standardized tests throughout his residency. God help us.

NEMJ’s Perspectives author, George, makes a summation, “Unless a physician seeks to be paid by the dispensary on the basis of sales or volume, it’s difficult to see how acting as a medical officer or member of a dispensary’s board could constitute drug dealing.” I think this is an excellent analogy. If your action can be construed as dicey, it probably is. After seeing what Moore, it’s easy to see that drug dealers aren’t that smart, at least not the good ones. Now what the agents in Massachusetts need to learn is that all doctors aren’t Dr. Moore. It’s easy to use a broad stroke when you don’t care about the painting.

A major point of contention between pro/anti pot interest groups has been the lack of regulation and quality control of the medicine provided at dispensaries. It’s common place to see M.D.s and D.O.s sitting as the medical officers or chairs for dispensaries nationwide, not so much in Massachusetts. Even more shocking, nobody can figure out why doctors aren’t joining in the pot party. Do we smell like cabbage? Oh! That’s right! It’s probably because the DEA just followed like, every doctor in town home from the office and interrupted family time letting little Susie overhear how the federal government was going to lock her daddy up for 25-30. Nope, that can’t possibly be it. That would mean that my tax dollars were being used to pay someone’s salary for the day at the DOJ solely for the purpose of bullying? Where is Mrs. Obama when you need her? My God, my God! So many questions!

Thankfully George bails us out on this one too. The U.S. House of Reps passed a bill stopping any funding of activity which would interfere with the states individual decision on the matter. Thanks George….I can rest easy now. I wonder if little Susie is too?

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About NancyBotwin85

I'm a 30 and a native Ohioan. As a cancer survivor and a chronic pain sufferer, I understand how devastating and debilitating these illnesses and conditions can be one someone's life. Most of my writings deal with medicinal marijuana use and I am trying to open anti-pot people's eyes to the healing properties of this plant.
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