Marijuana Usage not to mention Health care reform.
Marijuana continues to be the most highly abused drug in America. The arguments for and contrary to the legalization of marijuana continue steadily to escalate. This piece isn’t intended to set the stage for a legalization debate about marijuana. Instead, I would like caution practitioners whose patients under their care test positive for marijuana. Marijuana use continues to be forbidden by Federal law and patients who self-medicate or abuse marijuana should not be prescribed controlled substances.
Unfortunately, many physicians are often up against the dilemma of if to prescribe controlled substances to patients who drug test positive for marijuana. This is very the case in states which have modified state laws to legalize marijuana. These changes in state law don’t change the Federal guidelines that physicians must follow. As a former career DEA agent, I remind physicians that marijuana continues to be an illegal Schedule I controlled substance without accepted medical use within the U.S. The fact remains that all state laws have Federal oversight, as stated in the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. “The Supremacy Clause is just a clause within Article VI of the U.S. Constitution which dictates that federal law could be the supreme law of the land. Underneath the doctrine of preemption, which will be on the basis of the Supremacy Clause, federal law preempts state law, even when the laws conflict.”(1)
When a physician becomes aware a patient is using marijuana, alternate ways of therapy should be implemented other than prescribing controlled substances. Physicians must also take steps to refer the patient for treatment and cessation if any illegal drug use is revealed, including marijuana. Are 500mg CBD gummies suitable for beginners? Physicians must also bear in mind that the marijuana produced today is a lot more potent than the past and using high potency marijuana together with controlled substances isn’t safe for patients.
Can there be anything as FDA approved medical marijuana? You will find two FDA approved drugs in the U.S. containing an artificial analogue of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which will be the principal chemical (cannabinoid) accountable for marijuana’s psychoactive effects. A synthetic version of THC is included in the FDA approved drugs Marinol (Schedule III) and Cesamet (Schedule II) which are prescribed to treat nausea for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Marinol can also be prescribed to stimulate the appetite of cancer and anorexia patients (2). The FDA happens to be overseeing trials being conducted on Epidiolex (3), a drug manufactured by GW Pharmaceuticals and developed to lessen convulsive seizures in children. The drug contains cannabinoids from marijuana, referred to as cannabidiol or CBD, which does not support the psychoactive properties of traditional marijuana and does not produce a high. If this drug receives FDA approval, it will make history being the first approved drug containing CBD in the U.S.
Additionally, DEA has issued a special registration to an investigation laboratory at the University of Mississippi to cultivate various strains of marijuana for clinical trials (4). This research will continue, but as of this writing, ingesting or smoking botanical marijuana or the cannabis plant itself isn’t federally approved as an accepted medical treatment in the U.S. Patients who smoke or ingest marijuana need to keep yourself informed they are breaking Federal law and could possibly be prosecuted under Federal statutes. Furthermore, physicians should be testing for marijuana use and if detected, they should not prescribe controlled substances, regardless of these diagnosis and the patient’s symptoms, according to current Federal statutes.