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USA: Townsend: Show that medical marijuana works

USA: Townsend: Show that medical marijuana works
Robert Townsend / 12,10,2011

Physician: Decrease in use of other pain meds can validate cards

Physicians are not concerned with protests and speeches.

I, like most physicians, was taught that ‘medical marijuana’ was a political movement and marijuana has no medical use. But we were also taught to listen to our patients and base our decisions on evidence, not dogma.

The time has come for medical marijuana patients to stop telling physicians how good cannabis is as a medication, and start showing them some results.

Take chronic, severe pain – a qualifying condition for medical marijuana. IF my professors in medical school were correct, if marijuana is a schedule 1 narcotic because it has no medical value, I would not expect marijuana use to result in a decreased need for pain medication.

So why should I involve my practice with their politics? When I find out about your card on a drug screen, I am NOT happy.

But consider for a moment the patient whose pain I struggle to control. Four Vicodin a day, month in and month out and nothing I do seems to help.

Physical therapy, NSAIDs, work restrictions. I can’t seem to change the need for narcotics. Then, suddenly, they don’t need 120 Vicodin this month – they ask for 60. Next month it is only 30.

When I ask them what’s different, they tell me they have a card, and obviously it is helping with their pain. I am interested in finding out more.

I was taught medical marijuana was politics and had no medical use.

My patients didn’t tell me it helped them; they showed me by getting rid of narcotics. That is why I certify patients for medical marijuana, because I’ve seen it work. Show your doctors how it works for you.

Circulate this everywhere. :soapbox:

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