Pubdate: Thu, 23 Jan 2014
Source: Macon Telegraph (GA)
Copyright: 2014 The Macon Telegraph Publishing Company
Author: Richard L. Elliott


While I am reluctant to advocate for expanding availability of 
another mind-altering drug into society, it appears the drums are 
beating to make marijuana available as a prescription drug. I think 
this would be a mistake.

I agree with Drs. J.C. Smith and Thomas Frieden that "physicians have 
supplanted street corner drug pushers as the most important suppliers 
of illicit narcotics." Rather than adding marijuana to the list of 
drugs dispensed by doctors that can have legitimate medical uses but 
which will also be abused and redistributed, perhaps we should ask 
whether it is time simply to legalize marijuana.

Perhaps it is time to recognize that, compared with alcohol, it is 
less addictive and carries fewer medical risks. And know this for 
certain -- if it is made available as a prescribed medication, it 
will be available not only to some who might use it legitimately for 
medical purposes, but also, at a low, state-subsidized price, to many 
who can then resell it to others.

Such redistribution will cost the state the cost of providing it to 
the poor through Medicaid, and it will also cost the state in lost 
tax revenues it might otherwise have generated if marijuana were 
available on the open market.

- -- Richard L. Elliott, M.D.

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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom