Stay wary of marijuana
It comes as no surprise that Maryland physicians are reluctant to sign up for the state’s marijuana program (“Few doctors sign on to recommend medical marijuana in Maryland,” Nov. 14). Unlike states that were early entrees into this market, the medical community in Maryland has learned something from the scientific literature that has emerged in the intervening years. Just this week, a study reported marijuana use is bad for the cardiovascular system, consistent with many prior reports, but in this case weakening of the heart muscle was documented in relatively young users. The cardiologists also found it was also linked to depression, which can exacerbate cardiac symptoms. Numerous prior studies by psychiatrists have shown depression and other psychiatric conditions are associated with marijuana use, particularly psychosis.
The surprise was reading that a physician is planning to use marijuana to treat two psychiatric conditions (anxiety and PTSD), when not only are they not qualifying conditions under the Maryland Medical Cannabis program, they can be worsened by marijuana use. It is quite likely that physicians recommending marijuana for Maryland patients will open up uncharted medical malpractice territory, particularly since the smoked product remains Schedule I, with no accepted medical use according to the Food and Drug Administration.