MJ Consulting LLC | 928-772-2011 | 8540 E. State Route 69, Prescott Valley, AZ
Ask M.A. at MJ Consulting LLC
I wear green for my son!
Question: Why did my doctor stop prescribing medications for me when I tested positive for medical marijuana, when I have a registered patient ID card?
Answer: This is a sensitive issue not only for medical marijuana patients but also doctors. I am not a licensed physician although we do employ licensed physicians. Each doctor is entitled to their own opinion and I suggest you ask your doctor. There are a multitude of options to discuss here this is just the tip of the ice berg.
In 2011 while interviewing medical doctors for the position of a dispensary Medical Director, I was shown a letter from the American Medical Association. The letter sent to all doctors in medical marijuana states had many things to say. The letter stated something to the effect that there is no medical evidence that using marijuana does not interact with prescription drugs. If physicians are prescribing medications to registered medical marijuana patients expect to be sued! FEAR based.
Director Will Humble of the Arizona Department of Health Services in 2011 posted a Power Point presentation on the health dept. website. The presentation begins with, “Doctors do not need to participate in the Medical Marijuana Program”. Not only did this give doctors an “opt out” option but many have taken this to mean that doctors can choose not to treat you, not discuss marijuana with you, and not document a patient’s use.
A.R.S. 36-2813 (C) For the purpose of medical care, including organ transplants, a registered qualifying patients’ authorized use of marijuana must be considered the equivalent of the use of any other medication under the direction of a physician and does not constitute the use of an illicit substance or otherwise disqualify a registered qualifying patient from medical care.
The truth is there is a great deal of science and patient testimony (antidotal evidence) that marijuana does the same job as many prescriptions, does a better job treating symptoms and the root cause, with few side effects. The number one reason people get their medical marijuana card is to decrease or eliminate prescription drugs. Many patients with regular use of marijuana as a medicine overcome addictions to opiates, narcotics, alcoholism, Heroin, sleeping pills, mental health meds, and cigarette smoking.
At MJ Consulting LLC our oldest patient is 94 and average age is 63. This group has been the perfect patients. Growing up in the age when there is a pill for everything. They have taken every pill prescribed for them, had every surgery and attend every physical therapy their doctors have recommended. Now they have been on many medications 20, 30, 40, even 50 years. They know they are addicted to their pills and now they have organ failure and pain continues to control their day. Quality of life is nonexistent and evolves around the next dose, next surgery, or visit to doctors.
I recently assisted a patient with her renewal card. I asked, “How long have you been a medical marijuana patient”? She responded, “This will be my fourth card”. I asked, ’” What does marijuana do for you”? Her husband answered first, “What doesn’t it do for my wife”? The patient said she was run over by a truck when she was a child and she had a stroke in 2010. She continued by saying she is no longer on morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, soma, valium, fentanyl patches, and stopped smoking cigarettes. “I was an addict of all of it and I hated it”!
Several months ago I assisted a patient whose dream job was to work at the FDA. She setup her high school and college classes so someday she could land the career of her dreams. She did land that job at the FDA, she lasted only two years. She quit her dream career upon realizing the “FDA does not approve the safety of a product only how it can be marketed”. Here is an example: A pill is approved as a birth control and that company can only market it as a birth control. Later women who use it say, it clears up my acne, regulates my cycles, stops PMS and head aches, the company cannot advertise for those other benefits until they get separate approval to market it under each additional benefit, which means documented double blind studies. She said, “As long as a company discloses the possible side effects they can advertise and sale anything. Eye opening to me is the fact that to this day the FDA has never approved even one medication for life time use.
There is a time and place for doctors, medication, surgery, rehabilitation, but in my book it is not “Every time or every place”. If I break my leg I want a medical doctor to put me back together. If my heart fails I want a team of medical doctors. Anything else I treat with herbs, juicing, or supplements, eat to live not live to eat, and stay active for the past 15 years.
If you are a patient who has been on a particular prescription for many years and experienced having your prescription severed without warning or at least a coordinated step down process with your doctor because of medical marijuana-you are not alone. We are sad and sorry you had to experience this. Patients called me in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, asking me, “What do I do, I am having seizures, headaches, tremors, nausea, and vomiting from abruptly stopping prescriptions”. I did it in 2001, no fun!
I tell patients we are pioneers in a new industry and need to teach as we go one person at a time if necessary. Patients need to understand marijuana is still illegal under Federal Law although it appears that might change in the near future. Medical professionals are licensed under the State (with the exception of military or VA doctors) and obligated to follow State law. States laws are superseded by Federal Laws, in most cases. The will of the voters appears to carry weight but medical professionals just want to protect their license. Medical professionals have little to no training in the medical use of marijuana, being that it is a Federal schedule 1 drug. Marijuana has not been allowed to be studied or prescribed as a medicine. As mentioned before there is a lot of science just not medical science.
One of the problems is medical science relies on ‘Double blind studies”. Marijuana just like DMSO for example cannot be used to conduct a double blind study. The placebo group always knows they received the placebo and the test group always knows they received the test dose-every time. Labs are trying to isolate separate components in the plant so that one component can be tested and patented. The plant needs all of its components interacting with each other to be effective. Modified from its original form does not produce the same effects, my opinion and others.
Patients would like medical professionals to understand until this last year medical marijuana patients were allowed to grow their own marijuana medicine. After the initial cost of setting up the grow room the monthly cost was about $50 to grow your own. The same allowable amount now costs $2000 in a dispensary to obtain a patients legal limit of marijuana, devastating patients.
There are going to be days that a patient cannot afford marijuana medicine and the patient may need 1/3 of the prescription they use daily. Also a patient will need a prescription filled when they are traveling out of state. To take marijuana into another state or on an air plane is still illegal. Patients do need their medical doctor to help them with a step down process with prescriptions so as to do no harm to the patient. Once patients detox off addictive pills they really do not want them anymore but at times may request them to stay law abiding.
At MJ Consulting LLC we maintain a list of industry friendly doctors who will work with their patients. If you are a doctor who would like to be on the list and accepting new patients, please call us. If you are a patient who needs a new doctor please call us for a referral.
If you would like to participate in a class on how to talk to your doctor about medical marijuana or traveling with your marijuana medicine call MJ Consulting LLC.
This article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. It is intended as information only.
MJ Consulting LLC
Your “One Stop” Medical Marijuana Community Resource Center and integrated Health Clinic.
We help take the confusion out of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Program.