Cannabis Use and Health Care

Cannabis continues to be the most highly abused medication in America. The arguments for and against the legalization of marijuana carry on and escalate. This piece is not designed to set the stage for a legalization debate about marijuana. Instead, I would like caution practitioners whose patients below their care test positive regarding marijuana. Marijuana use is still unacceptable by Federal law and sufferers who self-medicate or abuse weed should not be prescribed controlled substances.

Unfortunately, many physicians are often faced with the particular dilemma of whether or not to recommend controlled substances to patients who else drug test positive for marijuana. This is particularly the case in states that have modified state laws in order to legalize marijuana.
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These changes in state law do not change the Federal government guidelines that physicians must follow. Being a former career DEA agent, I actually remind physicians that marijuana is still an illegal Schedule I controlled substance with no accepted medical use in the U. S. The fact remains that all state laws have Federal oversight, as stated in the Supremacy Offer of the Constitution. “The Supremacy Clause is a clause within Article VI of the U. S. Constitution which dictates that federal law could be the supreme law of the land. Beneath the doctrine of preemption, which is in line with the Supremacy Clause, federal law preempts state law, even when the laws conflict. “(1)

When a physician gets aware that a patient is using marijuana, alternate methods of therapy should be implemented other than prescribing controlled substances. Physicians should also take steps to refer the sufferer for treatment and cessation when any illegal drug use is revealed, including marijuana. Physicians should also keep in mind that the marijuana produced these days is much more potent than the past and using high potency marijuana in conjunction with controlled substances is not safe for individuals.

Is there such a thing as FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION approved medical marijuana? There are 2 FDA approved drugs in the U. S. containing a synthetic analogue of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the principal chemical substance (cannabinoid) responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive results. A synthetic version of THC will be contained in the FDA approved drugs Marinol (Schedule III) and Cesamet (Schedule II) which are prescribed to treat nausea for cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment. Marinol is also prescribed to activate the appetite of cancer and anorexia patients (2). The FDA is currently overseeing trials being carried out on Epidiolex (3), a drug manufactured by GW Pharmaceuticals and created to reduce convulsive seizures in kids. The drug contains cannabinoids through marijuana, referred to as cannabidiol or CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT, which does not contain the psychoactive properties of traditional marijuana and does not produce a high. If this drug receives FDA approval, it would make history getting the first approved drug containing CBD in the U. S.

Additionally , DEA has issued a special registration to a research laboratory at the University of Mississippi to cultivate various pressures of marijuana for clinical tests (4). This research will keep on, but as of this writing, ingesting or smoking botanical marijuana or the cannabis plant itself is not federally approved being an accepted medical treatment in the U. H. Patients who smoke or ingest marijuana need to be aware that they are breaking Federal law and could be prosecuted under Federal statutes. Furthermore, physicians should be testing for marijuana use and if detected, they should not prescribe controlled substances, regardless of their medical diagnosis and the patient’s symptoms, as per current Federal statutes.