I Predict Another Travesty: Weed


About one year ago I wrote this:

First of all, it is crazy to me that 37% of medical marijuana users are misusing other non-prescribed drugs and this is felt to be equal to the normal population. But let’s take this study at face value. My first patient who I described above truly needed weed and was someone I could trust and the study supports that. The other patients, who I thought were just looking to get a legal excuse to smoke weed, I could not. They were already recreational users and probably abusing other drugs as well. I guess the study proves my point. It is about trust just like when we prescribe narcotics. So, to summarize, I support medical marijuana but unlike Sanjay, I am not Pollyanna about it. Just because he had some epiphany about cannibis doesn’t mean there aren’t lowlifes out there ready to abuse the hell out of it. I will stick to my 90% statement.

Now before people get on my case about being a hardass or why not just let them have it or weed never kills anyone and on and on, let me remind you of the next debacle that will occur once you open these flood gates. Right now, Medicaid isn’t paying for it (and for some funny reason these patients now have cash for it. Huh?) but there will be a movement to change this. Lawyers will eventually get this overturned and that is when the fun begins. Then the 90% will turn to 99% because it will be a great new source of income for a ton of people as they sell what they supposedly medically need. Not only will our taxes be paying for suspect people to use the drug but it will pay for their supply to sell it on the streets. And this will not change it if is legalized for non-medical use either, by the way, because these same patients will want it for free via a prescription (think about the times they ask for tylenol scripts). You may think, so what, we do this already for narcotics. And I would say, exactly.

So I wasn’t surprised when I saw this article:

If you love smoking pot, live in Berkeley and don’t make a lot of money, the city council has some good news for you: your pot may now be free .

An ordinance approved by the Berkeley City Council says that at least 2 percent of all pot carried by medical marijuana dispensaries must be provided “at no cost” to “very low-income” individuals and families.

The council defines “very low income” as individuals making $32,000 a year or less, or families of four collectively earning $46,000.

And so it begins.  Right now they are putting it on the dispensaries but the theory is the same.  Soon taxpayers will be paying for weed, which will used for some appropriate patients but by many questionable ones as well.  Many of them will be selling it on the side.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  6 comments for “I Predict Another Travesty: Weed

  1. gerridoc
    July 16, 2014 at 11:05 am

    I agree with you, Doug.

  2. Kurt
    July 16, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Somehow, the idea of my heart surgeon blowing weed on the side doesn’t make me feel comfortable.
    I don’t think Marinol ever helped anyone. The few folks I used it on (compassionately) told me they were
    still waiting for the euphoria to kick in. Didn’t do much for appetite and just lightened their wallets/purses of greenbacks.

  3. Michael Gorback
    July 15, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    One other thought: If they mandate that dispensaries in Berkley must give out free weed what do you think the dispensaries in Berkeley will do?

    These are business people. They will either (1) raise prices for the rest, or (2) move out of Berkeley. The same that you would do if you owned a tire store and your town mandated free tires for the poor.

  4. Michael Gorback
    July 15, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Free dope! What’s not to love?

    Seriously, though, check out the experience in Portugal when they decriminalized all the drugs. Short version: not much.

  5. DrPhil
    July 15, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Should be renamed to “Soma” (Look up Soylent Green)

  6. July 14, 2014 at 9:01 am

    And you missed the really bad stuff, I’m afraid. Here are some societal rules we should examine:

    1) The patient gets what the patient wants. A prescription is an expectation.
    2) The owner sets the rules. If you own the scheduled drug, your use of it is governed by property rights.
    3) Doctors just look up the rules for a particular complaint, and should follow the rules. A sprained ankle means you get hydrocodone or oxycodone. That’s the rule.
    4) Doctors who deviate from the Rules should be fined, sued, or at least yelled at.
    5) Everyone’s got ‘dirty hands,’ so if a doctor says ‘no’ she/he is just working the system to get something. Pound your way through the resistance.
    6) You deserve to get the good drugs.
    7) A drug is good when the Government says it is.
    8) You deserve that drug when you think you do.

    For many years, many other countries have allowed the free sale of most “illicits” without the pretense involved of a prescription. They do not seem so hung up on the medical propriety of their desires. Here, though, everyone wants the little “dope card.”

    Get medicine out of the party dope basis. Go ahead and deregulate all marijuana matters in California. Let people grow it in the backyard, and the whole infrastructure will fall apart. But get the doctors out of the firing line.

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