Pubdate: Wed, 04 Dec 2013
Source: Miami Herald (FL)
Copyright: 2013 Miami Herald Media Co.
Author: Bernd Wollschlaeger


In her Dec. 1 column, Medicinal marijuana: opposition's smoky motive 
, Paula Dockery argues in favor of legalizing marijuana for medical 
purposes, saying that, "Legislative leaders refuse to consider the 
use of medical marijuana despite the growing body of medical evidence 
as to its beneficial use."

She adds that medical marijuana has many uses and clinical 
indications and that legalization would provide access to treatment 
for those suffering from debilitating diseases.

But her arguments are based on inflated claims, not facts. Yes, one 
can find clinical trials using cannabinoid extracts to treat pain and 
spasticity in multiple sclerosis and to improve nausea in patients 
undergoing radiation treatment, but these trials are limited and rely 
on standardized dosages of cannabinoid extracts that the inhaled 
delivery of marijuana often cannot provide.

There is no growing body of medical evidence as to medical 
marijuana's beneficial effects, and I favor clinical research 
initiatives to further investigate these claims. Meanwhile, the 
supporters of medical marijuana are deluding the public with 
premature, and even false, medical claims.

I can only speculate that the prospects of huge profits from the sale 
of medical marijuana drive these initiatives. But in the end, who 
will pay for the treatment of those who need help to treat their 
marijuana addiction? Are we again privatizing profits and leaving 
taxpayers to clean up the mess?

Bernd Wollschlaeger M.D.,

North Miami Beach
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