Pubdate: Sun, 28 Aug 2016
Source: Carroll County Times (MD)
Copyright: 2016 Carroll County Times
Author: Jonathan Fuhrman


Its frustrating to see our County Commissioners' behavior toward 
Maryland's Medical Cannabis Program. They seem to be operating with a 
Reefer Madness mentality, allowing their policymaking to be guided by 
distress and superstition rather than established facts and evidence. 
As a regulatory professional, I was fortunate enough to attend a 
Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission meeting at Johns Hopkins last 
year. One of the biggest takeaways for me was the seriousness and 
professionalism with which the individuals involved in designing this 
policy (almost all MDs and lawyers) treated the subject. This isn't 
about Jeff Spicoli, 420, some gateway drug or the Grateful Dead. This 
is about medicine, plain and simple. A much-needed, effective therapy 
for helping our most vulnerable patients - folks with chronic 
illnesses and terminal diseases including all forms of cancer, 
Parkinson's, MS, epilepsy, etc. Who in our community hasn't felt the 
impact of one of these devastating conditions?

New applications for medical cannabis are found every day to treat 
conditions as diverse as Lou Gehrig's Disease and PTSD. In terms of 
pain management, it is an absolute public health victory and doesn't 
carry the risk of addiction or overdose posed by opiates - something 
we have an unfortunate history with here in Carroll County. Of course 
I understand the Commissioners' misgivings. Cannabis-usage has been 
prohibited for a long time and as much as we've eased up on cannabis 
both politically and culturally (see Maryland's decriminalization or 
Broad City), it's still, for the most part, an undesired behavior. 
Sure, I get that, and we can discuss all that further when it comes 
time to debate recreational marijuana, but medicinal cannabis is a 
completely separate issue and we would be wise not to conflate the two.

In short, people are suffering. Treatments are available. Let doctors 
do their jobs and help people be well.

Jonathan Fuhrman

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