Iowa Doctors Not Fans of State’s Medical Marijuana Program
Only 325 of Iowa's 7,000 practicing physicians have certified less than 600 patients for Iowa's new medical marijuana program which starts December 1st. That's a far cry from the "tens of thousands" medical marijuana advocates predicted. This according to an article in the Des Moines Register.
Doctors in Iowa seem hesitant to prescribe the treatment to patients mainly because the science isn't there to back up it's benefits. Dr. Steven Adelman, a neurologist at Mercy Medical Center, told the Register “It’s not that we’re against medical marijuana, we just want to have more evidence that it will help our patients. … The hype has really preceded the science.”
Oncologist Richard Deming, who is director of Mercy's cancer center, told the paper that he thinks medicines shouldn't be prescribed to patients until they've been deemed safe and effective. Additionally he has concerns with cannabis shop personnel providing dosing advice to patients.
The Iowa Medical Society calls Iowa's medical marijuana program “unsustainable and dangerous public policy."
All the above is great food for thought. However, the research would be done if the federal government could get out of the mindset that somehow researching the use of cannabis for medical purposes is giving the entire country permission to smoke a joint and get high. Heck, Iowa's medical marijuana program doesn't even permit products to be sold that would be smoked or vaped.
The bottom line in my mind is simple. Patients are looking for solutions and relief of pain, seizures, nausea. In cases where people get curious about whether or not marijuana may help, I'd bet big pharma's solution hasn't worked. Or in some cases, their cure is worse than the disease. I'd like to think physicians might be open to letting their patients try to find relief through cannabis. Apparently in Iowa, that's not the case ... yet.