Doctor Oz Smokes Out the Medical Marijuana Debate!
On the Dr Oz show today, Doctor Oz focused on the hot debate concerning medical marijuana. His guest was Montel Williams, who has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and who is fighting for legalized medical marijuana, since it provides relief for his condition. Additionally, Montel says that no more plaque has formed in his brain, leading to the conclusion that using marijuana has halted the progression of his MS. He is fighting to help find a cure for multiple sclerosis, and says it’s time for the federal government to make medical marijuana legal!
Montel took a shot at President Obama on today’s show as well, saying that the president has never worn a uniform and Montel has…so how dare the President deny him the use of a medicine that works for his condition.
Another guest on the show, Dr. Andrea Barthwell who is a former director of the White House National Drug Control Policy, says that she co-chaired a study that reviewed the literature on the safety of medical marijuana. Their study found that one: they can’t support the use of smoking any drug; two: wherever medical marijuana is in use, the illegal use of it expands and three: young people are the most vulnerable to that.
Another guest, Dr. Donald Abrams, who is an oncologist and a medical marijuana researcher, says that his patients are fighting for their lives. As far as smoking it, he considers it an “inhaled” drug, like those used by asthmatic patients. He and Montel insist that smoking marijuana appears to even decrease the risk of lung cancer!
Then Dr. Oz went back to Dr. Barthwell, and said that she has been involved with a company who is looking at taking some of the elements of marijuana and purifying them. Montel jumped in and said no, she was hired by a medicinal marijuana company from outside of the United States to ensure that patients outside the U.S. have access to safe and effective medicine, as opposed to people here at home. Dr. Barthwell said that the products have not passed the FDA, because our standards are different from those in countries where those products have passed, such as the U.K. and Canada.
An audience member who works as a school nurse pointed out that in areas where marijuana has been legalized for medical use, the perceived risk of using it goes down, so use goes up in the kids. They don’t think there’s anything wrong with it because it’s prescribed by doctors.
Dr. Barthwell’s greatest fear for legalized medical marijuana is having a medicine available outside the closed loop of FDA approval (which regulates its dispensation) causes patients to have to buy it from street vendors.
Montel pointed out that prescription medications like Oxycontin, Percocet, Adderall and Valium are the most addictive and abused substances out there, especially among high school kids. The audience applauded.
Doctor Oz summed up that if we’re going to make medical marijuana legal, then we need to make it legal. “It’s not fair to pass laws that make it look like it’s legal, and then not be able to give people what they need,” he said. States need a system to control who can prescribe marijuana and who can use it. Marijuana is not as addictive as other drugs, “but it’s darn addictive,” he said, and it needs to be strictly regulated.
Fundamentally, Dr. Oz says it should be used to give patients their lives back, not to take their lives away.
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