AP and the LA Times report:
California’s largest industry group for doctors is calling for the legalization of marijuana even as it maintains that the drug has few proven health benefits. Trustees of the California Medical Association adopted the new stance at its annual meeting Friday, Oct. 14, 2011 in Anaheim, according to a Los Angeles Times report.Got that? They do not know whether the drug is useful, but recommend legalizing anyway so physicians will feel more comfortable.
Dr. Donald Lyman, the Sacramento physician who wrote the group’s new policy, said doctors are increasingly frustrated by the state’s medical marijuana law, which allows use with a doctor’s recommendation. Physicians are put in the uncomfortable position of having to decide whether to recommend a drug that’s illegal under federal law, Lyman said.
“It is an open question whether cannabis is useful or not,” he told the newspaper.
Lyman called current laws a “failed public health policy.”The law would be a failed policy if some alternative policy would be better. But the physicians did not even consider what an alternative policy would do.
But critics within the medical community said association leaders did not consider the broader implications of legalizing marijuana.
“I think it’s going to lead to more use, and that, to me, is a public health concern,” Dr. Robert DuPont, an M.D. and professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical School, told the Times.
As it is, California physicians can write prescriptions for marijuana, and most of them are for
unverifiable ailments like back pain, headaches, insomnia, impotence, and anxiety. The policy is a joke. The physicians who write these prescriptions have sold out.
Physician recommendations on many subjects, such as diet, vaccines, guns, and drugs is uninformed and unsubstantiated.
Update: Libertarian drug advocate Ilya Somin brags that a Gallup poll shows 50% support for legal marijuana use, for the first time. But many states, including California, already have legal medical marijuana use, and Californians have voted down broader legalization.