We have a trust issue: A survey conducted this year found that 36% of people who take medical cannabis (MC) turn to dispensary staff for advice on how & whether to use it, 30% turn to their friends – and just 26% turn to their own doctors.
People are tuning out physicians because, the study found, they aren’t listening to their patients, apparently for two reasons.
First, doctors don’t know much about MC. According to one authoritative report, only 9% of US medical schools teach it, a scant 10% of docs feel qualified to prescribe it and just 35% feel qualified to even answer a question about it.
Second, the grand poohbahs of medicine are fine with it staying that way. For example, the American Medical Association still views cannabis as a planta non grata for both treatment & legalization:
Our AMA: (1) believes that cannabis is a dangerous drug and as such is a serious public health concern; (2) believes that the sale of cannabis for adult use should not be legalized …
With the upshot that, say the authors of the study, there’s a yawning gap between the people and their providers on the issue of MC:
Our study highlights a fundamental mismatch between the state-level legalization of medical marijuana and the lack of preparation of physicians-in-training to prescribe it. With even more states on the cusp of legalizing medical marijuana, physician training should adapt to encompass this new reality of medical practice.
Harvard physician Peter Grinspoon agrees and posted this rather scathing comment: