Thursday, March 21, 2013

Adalja On Medical Marijuana

Dr. Amesh Adalja has a new OpEd, "Medical Marijuana Opposition Is Support Of Socialized Medicine" (Forbes, 3/20/2013).

One nice passage:
Laws against physicians prescribing marijuana—in the remaining 30 states that have not legalized it for medicinal (or recreational) use and by the federal government—are tantamount to the government dictating how medicine should be practiced, shoving its force-wielding hand in between a patient and physician.

What is paradoxical is that the same individuals who forcefully—and quite rightly—oppose the presence of the government in the healthcare realm in the form of the individual insurance mandate, bureaucratic requirements, restrictions on health care savings accounts (HSAs), pre-existing condition rules and the like, often are the most vociferous opponents of allowing marijuana to be used medicinally.

In reality, there is no difference between the government forcing its way into an operating room determining what operation a specific condition requires, and forcing its way into a doctor’s office to prohibit the prescription of a substance that a physician, after weighing the evidence in the context of a patient’s symptomatology, deems appropriate.
 (Read the full text of "Medical Marijuana Opposition Is Support Of Socialized Medicine".)