Bill Downing is a MassCann/NORML Board Member and is filling in for Mike Cann this week.

Which is it?

The medical profession has mandates. One is that they “do no harm.” This mandate has been violated with horrific results for nearly a century by America’s medical leadership, educational institutions, and the vast majority of American doctors.

What could be so powerful a force that it could keep medicine from doing its duty?

The fact is, countless studies have shown that

the safest therapeutic substance we know of is cannabis.

For any practitioner of the medical arts, the most important thing is being curious, especially about the safest therapeutic substance known to man. Therefore, one can assume that anyone involved in treating illness or injury should have at least some degree of curiosity regarding the applications of cannabis.

But such an assumption would lead one to being dead wrong. The Massachusetts Medical Society, by popular vote, opposed allowing “medical marijuana” to be used by doctors as therapy for patients. This happened despite years of editorial support for medicinal cannabis from the New England Journal of Medicine, and despite support within our own Commonwealth from the world’s most widely published authority on the medicinal use of cannabis, Dr. Lester Grinspoon, retired Harvard Medical School of Psychiatry professor.

Dr. Grinspoon best exemplifies the one against hundreds in opposition. There are a very few medical professionals possessing what one might consider a normal degree of intellectual curiosity, or perhaps a sufficient degree of professional responsibility. Such curiosity or professional responsibility should have inspired every medical student at some point to investigate the safest therapeutic substance. Unless they were dumb as a rock.

Another possible explanation is that the entire medical community is involved in a comprehensive, airtight conspiracy. What could possibly be the motivating force behind it?

As Deep Throat famously said, “Follow the money.” Which big money folks have the most to lose by allowing medicinal cannabis? The pharma-industrial complex! Cannabis is like poison to the pharmaceutical business.
Cannabis can be grown for the cost of sunshine, rain, and dirt.

In other words, cannabis is free medicine. That is a horrifying prospect for the pharmaceutical business.

Is there any reasonable question as to whether doctors are under the influence of pharmaceutical companies? No, there is not. We all know doctors receive many direct and indirect benefits from the prescription of certain drugs.

So, to the vast majority of doctors and medical pros who know nothing about (and therefore react with fear toward) the medicinal application of cannabis: which is it? Are you unaware of the properties of the safest therapeutic substance or are you aware of it but acting stupid so you can be a good pharma-industry soldier?



  1. George Finn George Finn says:

    All of the above and you left out the God Complex and Pharma-whores.

  2. Stewart Marcus Stewart Marcus says:

    Making a sweeping statement that doctors are either evil or stupid is as illusory as proclaiming all cannabis users either unmotivated or lazy. The generalization that physicians are arrogant uncaring greedy whores of the pharmaceutical industry is as inaccurate and outdated as that of the stereotypical ‘stoner’ drop out who has no ambition or aspirations in life save Doritos and Donkey Kong. There are certainly doctors who are evil, stupid, or both just as there are some marijuana users who are apathetic slackers but these are illusory correlations and represent a small fraction of the whole. In truth the vast majority of physicians are caring and competent. They are not under the influence of Big Pharma and most hospitals in Boston have banned pharmaceutical sales reps. The majority of physicians do not receive any benefits, direct or indirect, from drug companies. Greed does not explain the silence of almost all Massachusetts doctors when it comes to medical marijuana. Nor does stupidity or ignorance.

    The assumption that there are “very few medical professionals possessing what one might consider a normal degree of intellectual curiosity or perhaps a sufficient degree of professional responsibility” is erroneous.

    Many physicians in Massachusetts are indeed curious about the applications of cannabis in treating patients. However, only a handful would publically admit it.

    The force behind this silence is not due to apathy, ignorance, or indifference. It is due to fear.

    Physician “peer review” is the process whereby physicians evaluate their colleagues. Historically, physicians were reluctant to perform this function due to the lack of incentives and fear of retaliatory litigation. As a response Federal and State legislators created statutory immunity for physician peer review participants in the hopes of increasing participation and improving the quality of health care. Despite good intentions the HCQIA of 1986 created a system that trampled due process rights, permitted conflicts of interests, and opened the door for abuse. Peer review immunity has provided a shield for bad faith enabling unethical individuals to manipulate the process. While protecting an accusatory organization without risk of repercussion, the victim of bad faith peer review is faced with an insurmountable battle. Sham peer review threatens not only quality care for patients, but the very integrity of the medical profession.

    The opportunity to remove doctors from practice with impunity was not lost on the fossilized architects of the drug war. The American Society of Addiction Medicine created a fake “specialty” complete with sham board certification and has taken over the field of addiction medicine. The “Board certification” reflects neither training nor accomplishment and is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.

    The goal of the ASAM is to be recognized as the experts in addiction medicine with the consensus expert opinion based on the 12-step prohibitionist brain disease model. The ASAM has aligned itself with a number of 12-step inpatient drug treatment centers and are heavily funded by the drug testing industry.
They are non-profit non-governmental organizations and have been granted quasi-governmental immunity by most State legislatures from legal liability.
By infiltrating “impaired physician” programs they have established themselves in almost every state by joining, gaining power, and removing dissenters

    As “the new voice of addiction medicine” they have created a propaganda campaign to “fake it til they make it.” And they have made it. They have convinced medical societies, medical boards, regulatory agencies, parole boards and others to not only accept them as experts, but to write legislation in states to declare them “the” experts in addiction medicine. They did this with a torrent of strategic lobbying efforts on behalf of the 12-step addiction treatment industry towards the AMA (and indirectly through the FSPHP towards the AMA), ABMS, APA, FSMB, ABIM, JCAO, CSAT, consumer groups, presidential candidates, state medical societies, congress, corrections agencies, social service agencies, faith-based community centers, the media and many other targets.

    By convincing others of their expertise they have strategically placed themselves in a position of power that includes the ability to remove any doctor from practice.

    The Massachusetts Physician Health Services, Inc. encourages others to contact them for confidential “referral” of any doctor who displays “disruptive” behavior or behavior “suggestive” of substance abuse. Red flags include dressing or thinking differently than others, being late to meetings, and “taking risks” in patient care.

    Once referred to PHS they can then recommend an evaluation at a facility experienced in “treating health care professionals.” None are in Boston as apparently there is no one qualified to make these assessments North of the Mason-Dixie line. A Massachusetts physician who is accused of substance abuse must be evaluated in Arkansas, Georgia, or Alabama. A disruptive physician is required to be evaluated in Kansas. These “assessments” most often result in 3 months of inpatient treatment at the facility. The conflicts of interest are staggering and doctors have no appeal process. The Medical Board does not second guess PHS. Credible reports of misconduct by the Massachusetts PHS that include fraud, falsified drug testing, false diagnoses, conspiracy, and civil rand human rights violations have been reported but ignored. They have no oversight or accountability to anyone. They are now advocating random drug testing for all physicians.

    So it is not greed, arrogance, or ineptitude that is preventing physicians in Massachusetts from advocating medical marijuana. It is the very real fear that if they do so they will be targeted and their careers and lives ruined. And at this point there is nothing they can do about it. Game over.

    Self -preservation trumps and survival trump medical marijuana advocacy. Patient benefit is not going to create a tipping point where a doctor is going to risk everything. The marked increase in physician suicide rate corresponds to “impaired physician” programs being taken over by these people.

    In summary, an AA front group has taken over regulatory medicine in most states. Physicians have witnessed colleagues falsely accused and ruined. Ideology has replaced science. The ASAM policy on medical marijuana is clear. To voice opposition to it or go against policy would be a foolish risk that could be career ending. This is what they wanted—a police state of suppression, control, and punishment. And no one is trying to stop them.'s-blog/asam-president's-blog/2012/10/16/how-to-achieve-an-80-percent-recovery-rate

    “Prohibition… goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.” — Abraham Lincoln December, 1840