A Maryland state commission empowered by the legislature to recommend ways to legally get medical marijuana to seriously ill patients is deadlocked. The issue is how to get medical marijuana to the most needy patients in Maryland, including AIDS sufferers, chemotherapy patients, and those with MS. The 22 member Maryland Marijuana Commission is split down the middle.
Eleven members want patients to enroll in an academic study in order to obtain medical marijuana. The other half believes that medical marijuana should be prescribed by doctors, and fulfilled by dispensaries or pharmacies.
Requiring patients to enroll in academic studies would restrict availability. Many seriously ill patients wouldn’t participate, either because they can’t travel to an academic facility, or meet the strict requirements of the research protocol. Fulfilling marijuana prescriptions through a patient’s regular doctor – where patients get their other medications – just makes sense.
The argument against using physicians to prescribe marijuana is the fear that doctors would not use their best medical judgement in deciding when to prescribe marijuana. It is ironic that medical marijuana opponents trust doctors with the power to prescribe powerful and addicting narcotics, but don’t trust them to prescribe marijuana.
The bottom line, until an agreement is reached, seriously ill patients are still subject to arrest. They have no legal means to obtain medical marijuana in Maryland.
To voice your support for the physician/pharmacist model, contact the Commission chairman: Joshua M. Sharfstein, MD Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene 201 W. Preston Street Baltimore, Maryland 21201 Phone: 410-767-6500 Toll Free: 1-877-4MD-DHMH (1-877-463-3464) e-mail: email@example.com
For more information on Maryland Marijuana Law: MDMarijuanaLaw.com