Marijuana Use and Health Care

The most heavily abused drug in America continues to be marijuana. The claims for the legalisation of marijuana and against it continue to intensify. This article is not meant to set the stage for a discussion on drug legalisation. Instead, I want caution from practitioners whose patients are marijuana-positive under their treatment test. Marijuana use is still banned by Federal law and controlled drugs can not be prescribed to patients who self-medicate or misuse marijuana.Have a look at Dispensary Near Me for more info on this.

Sadly, many doctors also face the question of whether or not to prescribe controlled medications to patients who have a marijuana-positive drug test. In states that have changed state laws to legalise marijuana, this is particularly the case. The Federal requirements that doctors must obey are not modified by these changes in state law. As a former DEA career agent, I remind doctors that marijuana is still an illicit drug regulated by Schedule I in the U.S. with no approved medical use. The reality remains that as stated in the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, all state laws have Federal control. “The Supremacy Clause is a clause within Article VI of the U.S. Constitution which dictates that federal law is the supreme law of the land. Under the doctrine of preemption, which is based on the Supremacy Clause, federal law preempts state law, even when the laws conflict” (1)

Alternate treatment strategies rather than administering controlled drugs should be introduced when a physician becomes aware that a patient is using marijuana. If any illicit drug usage is reported, including marijuana, doctors should also take action to refer the patient for care and cessation. Physicians should also bear in mind that today’s marijuana is much more potent than in the past, and it is not safe for patients to use high-potency marijuana in combination with controlled substances.

Is there anything like medical marijuana authorised by the FDA? Two FDA approved medications containing a synthetic analogue of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the key chemical (cannabinoid) responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana, are available in the U.S. The FDA-approved medications Marinol (Schedule III) and Cesamet (Schedule II), which are used to relieve nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, contain a synthetic form of THC. Marinol is also used to boost the appetite of patients with cancer and anorexia (2).