The Obama administration has told the Department of Justice and federal prosecutors to respect state medical marijuana laws. I think this is a big step in the battle to protect patients, but I don’t think it is going to stop the arrests of people who are selling medical marijuana for profit.
For years in my LEAP presentations, I’ve said that until we remove the enormous profits from marijuana, drug dealers will control where marijuana is grown, to who it’s sold, at what price, and to what age customers. If you want to control medical marijuana, you need to regulate it.
As long as marijuana is worth thousands of dollars a pound, criminals will be involved in the marijuana business.
If marijuana is going to be seen as real medicine, we need to treat it like real medicine. Family doctors and other specialists in the course of their normal treatment should be the ones prescribing medical marijuana, not doctors who have an entire practice built on prescribing marijuana.
If a doctor only prescribed Morphine to their patients, the medical board or DEA would say, that’s not practicing medicine, its drug dealing. If a pharmacy only filled Morphine prescriptions, the pharmacy board would say it wasn’t right.
Something is wrong when treatment options or medication choices made by a physician, are dictated by the patient. Patients should have a say in their treatment, but it’s the doctor that is ultimately responsible the patients treatment. On the other hand, a physician who limit treatment options or medication choices for their patient to a single drug, are not providing the best treatment for their patient.
If you want marijuana for medicinal purposes, treat it like medicine, if you want recreational marijuana, change the law, but don’t mix the two.
Update: Fixed some a minor formatting problem - DB