The readers’ forum

Is medical marijuana beneficial?


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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