Add your comment below for Resolution #7
Comments Submitted by Most Recent-Updated by MSMA
I speak in favor of the resolution. MSMA should oppose recreational marijuana (RMJ). Keeping tally of organizations that formally oppose RMJ at this time (4/7/2020) include the AMA, The national Osteopathic Medical Association, The Missouri Society of Eye Physicians & Surgeons, The Kansas City Medical Society, The Greene County Medical Society, The Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons. There are other organizations that were in the final steps of opposing RMJ when the COVID-19 quarantine struck. So called medical marijuana is a totally different issue than the much more health/social fabric destroying RMJ. Do NOT equate the two. As reported in the March/April Missouri Medicine (page 114) Missouri ERs were seeing increased problems related to easier access to pot through passage of medical marijuana. There is a huge volume of peer-reviewed studies done world-wide that show deleterious effects of chronic pot use especially the ultra-high (THC=95%) recreational marijuana. The most disturbing of these (which I do not have space to post but come up in any PUBMED search) show increases if birth defects, low birth weight, psychosis, schizophrenia, etc. The most common drug found in toxicology studies of domestic abuse and teen suicide is cannabis alone or with alcohol and/or opioids. This link will take readers to some of the articles about adverse effects of medical pot and RMJ. LINK https://www.msma.org/marijuana-education-resources.html Let us look at another state California with both medical and legal recreational marijuana. During the COVID-19 Pandemic the physicians at the U of San Francisco School of Medicine have found that regular marijuana users are more susceptible to COVID-19, have more severe cases and seem to be more effective vectors for spreading the Coronavirus. They have modified their ER COVID-19 protocol to inquire about use of marijuana and method of use. This is a LINK to their protocol https://www.lucidchart.com/documents/view/44787696-d0cd-4314-9032-6f2487a77177/oDWFl5GZwFk2 I personally have been contacted by commercial interests hoping to pass RMJ use in Missouri and offered monies to support or not oppose their cause. I won't repeat what I told them. The money and organizational efforts behind the efforts to make RMJ legal in Missouri are in it for the money just like BIG TOBACCO. As physicians let us take a step now to oppose RMJ and not support it as physicians in the 1940s and 1950s supported tobacco use. Thank for your consideration. MSMA should oppose recreational marijuana in Missouri.
-John C. Hagan III, MD - Representing self
It is premature for MSMA to take a strong opposition because of lack of research. Efforts should be made on facilitating and monitoring the current law allowing medical marijuana. Twenty-two states have legalized medical marijuana. Where do you think the data came from regarding public safety? It came from the other states. Eleven states have legalized recreational marijuana and several more are expected to legalize recreational marijuana in 2020. You cite data from one state, Colorado, as evidence to oppose recreational marijuana. This limited data is not even close to drawing conclusions by any scientific method. Statisticians would scoff. How about compiling data from the other 10 states? Professional healthcare organizations, like MSMA, are held to a higher level of accountability. Please respond only to issues that have the data to back it up. Resolution #7 does not provide the data. One more comment: You cite the American College if Pediatricians, albeit erroneously because you summarize the research by stating that marijuana "use by youth is grave." Please stop with the inaccuracies. Research has shown there is an increase likelihood of developing addiction in adulthood when using addictive substances at an early age. Nothing more definitive, including the use of marijuana, can be made. Many factors come in to play, and difficult to control, such as Dimensions 3-6 in ASAM guidelines. What is more worrisome is legalizing recreational marijuana at the age of 21 or even 18. Studies have repeatedly shown the adolescent brain is not fully developed until the age of 25. If recreational marijuana is legalized in Missouri, the age restriction should be for those 25 and older. For medical marijuana the age is at least 18 years of age. As a physician, I carefully screen the younger patients to make sure the benefits of medial marijuana outweigh the risks before I certify the youthful applicant.
-David Sherman, MD, Representing self