Early today, News-press.com published an article by Frank Gluck entitled, “Southwest Florida’s medical community skeptical of medical pot.” In it, Dr. Allen Weiss, president and CEO of the Naples-based NCH Healthcare System, is quoted as commenting in his latest public newsletter, “Conventional pharmaceuticals already provide the relief — such as anti-nausea properties for cancer patients — that might be conveyed by marijuana,” Dr. Weiss also stated,” I fear its general acceptance will bring more unforeseen problems for a nation already plagued with an epidemic of opioid overdoses and deaths.”
It is true, that the nation does have a problem with opioid overdoses and deaths, at least according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), but it has nothing to do with medical marijuana and it’s uses, and here is why.
According to the CDC:
- In 2011, of the 41,340 drug overdose deaths in the United States, 22,810 (55%) were related to pharmaceuticals.
- Of the 22,810 deaths relating to pharmaceutical overdose in 2011, 16,917 (74%) involved opioid analgesics (also called opioid pain relievers or prescription painkillers), and 6,872 (30%) involved benzodiazepines.
- (Some deaths include more than one type of drug.)
- In 2011, about 1.4 million ED visits involved the non-medical use of pharmaceuticals. Among those ED visits, 501,207 visits were related to anti-anxiety and insomnia medications, and 420,040 visits were related to opioid analgesics.
Based on that data Dr. Weiss, medical marijuana could probably help decrease those numbers. Gluck also saw through Weiss’s off-target assumption and posted a “note” in the article, “Experts, including those in the federal government, say a fatal overdose from marijuana is nearly impossible.”
So to summarize, Dr. Weiss, who has a large stake in the healthcare system staying as it is, controlled by big Pharma, hospital and insurance conglomerates and the AMA, and he wants Floridians to stick with the prescription pharmaceuticals which are the number one cause of deaths by overdose in this country, the very problem he is citing will be caused by allowing medical marijuana.
If half of those people who are addicted to pain pills switch to medical marijuana as their alternative to pain relief, we could possibly save tens of thousands of lives each year. Not everyone wants to be addicted to high-priced and dangerous synthetic pharmaceuticals, many would prefer to decide with their doctor whether or not a more natural and safe alternative medicine for them may be medical marijuana..
- Sources: News-press.com
- Photo: Wikipedia