If marijuana use is legalized, the disconnect that exists between marijuana users and their doctors would disappear. The disconnect starts the day a marijuana user visits a new physician. The receptionist hands the new patient a medical history form to fill out before the patient sees the doctor.
The form asks about marijuana use or illegal drug use but the new patient has no idea how their affirmative answer will be viewed since they have not met the doctor yet. Once the new patient meets their doctor, they don’t want to change the answer their medical history form so the lie continues and the patient is permanently disconnected from his or her primary care physician.
Anyone who hears that marijuana use may help symptoms of a chronic disease or condition they have will be leery of asking their doctor about marijuana use if marijuana is illegal. That person may start using marijuana, becoming their own doctor, because they are afraid of asking their physician’s opinion. Whether marijuana use helps or hurts the patient is not the issue; the issue is that the person is forced into making a medical decision without medical advice.
If marijuana use were legal for adults, people would be using safer, unaltered marijuana. A person in a state where medical marijuana is legal can safely treat the nausea that accompanies chemotherapy with a legally purchased product. A person living in a state where medical marijuana use is illegal cannot get a prescription so he or she buys illegal marijuana that may have dangerous substances added to it.
Opponents of marijuana’s legalization should also be worried about the doctors to patient disconnect and how the disconnect affects their position. Cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco are legal but harmful to a person’s health.
A person who wants to quit smoking cigarettes is not afraid to ask his or her doctor for help quitting because smoking is legal for adults. A person who wants legitimate medical information about the harmful effects of smoking marijuana because they want to quit will be afraid to discuss an illegal activity with his or her doctor. That person will not get the facts they need to make an informed decision about marijuana use.