Tampa Marijuana School


It is noble to teach the history and pharmacology of marijuana.  After practicing as a medical marijuana doctor and writing some for The NORML Women’s Alliance, and Ladybud (among others), my endorsement of marijuana and its constituents as nothing less than medicinal marvels is a matter of public record.

What is going on in Florida is something very, very different indeed.  Like the days of the Old West, when the gunslingers lived by the weapons on their holsters, now entrepreneurs are living on the cusp of an extraordinary wave of public opinion.  The pro-marijuana opinion in these United States has never been higher, and those who watch, comment upon, and work in the field seem to have little doubt that a generalized legalization of use is not far away.

Recreational and medical use are very different entities.

There is something artificial about having made physicians the arbiters of legality for the use of a substance that many use recreationally.  In terms of medical “permissions,” well, Dr.Gregory House of television fame was not wrong when he repeated on numerous occasions “patients lie.”

The great majority of those who make money from providing medical permission for marijuana are the “mills” where quite often over 50 patients are seen daily by a single physician, who has little time for a complete interview — let alone the most focused of physicals.  Do the math (Oh heck – I’ll do it for you.  I hate losing readers when we talk math).  That comes to a grand total of about 10 min. per patient – or less.

This is not like other medicines.  When I prescribe FDA approved medications, I specify a certain number of milligrams dosage to be taken in a period (such as every four hours).

Despite the most honest and complete advice — which I have always strived to give — the most honest of prescribers has no control whatsoever over the dosage and use of medical marijuana even if the indication is “real.”  And who can say for sure if a history of back or headache pain with a normal physical is “real?”

Also – because of California law – a medical doctor who “recommends” marijuana (it is no a prescription) cannot recommend anything else!  It is just “yes or no” on giving you marijuana.  If people wanted something else they would go to a traditional medical doctor.

The detractors of marijuana cite generalities — never published research.  A collapse of the education system is unlikely, for not everyone gets the much-ballyhooed “amotivational syndrome.”  There does not seem to be any evidence that marijuana causes an excess of auto accidents — every focused study I have seen suggests users overcompensate so much there are less accidents.  Check the statistics for accidents caused by cellphone use or texting while driving. Now THOSE are scary numbers!

Although I am no expert in questions of politics or taxation, it does seem to me that a structure similar to the taxation of alcohol would make some sense.  Every comparison of marijuana to alcohol known to me has shown alcohol to be more deleterious to the human physiology.

The business-oriented marijuana school in Tampa is just a symptom of America as it is.  Our heritage of free enterprise has somehow evolved into a system driven by some sort of entrepreneurship, so decisions will be made by some kind of economic interests that are above my level.

As a pharmaceutical, even in its current undeveloped state, marijuana is of undeniable utility to the human.  A lot of healing can be accomplished by various fractions of this rich plant. Getting pleasantly “high” is one of the more tolerable drug side effects known to me.

As a recreational substance, we need to deal with and regulate it.  Questions like carcinogenicity — which seems to be more of a problem with smoking than a problem with the substance. To dodge that problem, marijuana can easily be vaporized, rubbed on, or ingested.  Second-hand smoke can be a real problem, too – especially around children.  Intelligent use by people who have primary responsibility for child care is essential.

This is all quite workable, and seems to be part of the future toward which we are moving.

The real problem seems to be the over simplification of thinking in America.  The confusion of entrepreneurship, pharmacology, and politics simplified through pseudo-religion is the real problem.

America, just stand up and think.


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