Though we all sympathize with people who have illnesses, Gov. Bobby Jindal should veto the medical marijuana bill if the sponsor does not include basic patient safety standards that are in current Louisiana law.
While the intentions of the bill’s supporters may be good, in its current form, the bill puts the public at risk by providing an unproven substance to people who are sick, and it opens the door to shameless marketing of pot as medicine. Dose, strain and medical indications are all without scientific support. SB143 does not even approach the safeguards we have with approved prescribed medicines.
If the governor is comfortable signing this bill, he should be comfortable signing a bill proposed by a legislator for an antibiotic, a vaccine or a blood pressure medicine. This is another nail in the coffin retaining our safeguards for medicines.
It is not honest, compassionate or moral to provide false hope to people who are sick. The legislature should not cast off the recommendations of the American Medical Association and other scientific bodies and simply determine what is medicine and to approve the distribution of marijuana.
There is research on the chemical components of marijuana; however, as of yet, there are only two that are approved to be safe — Marinol and Cesamet. Like all legitimate medicines, those are available at pharmacies. Louisiana should not return to the past by providing “snake oil potions,” such as marijuana, to sick people who deserve safe and effective medicine. For the sake of people who are sick and all of the citizens of Louisiana, but particularly the children who in all states that have legalized marijuana have experienced a doubling of addiction rates, Governor Jindal should veto the “medical” marijuana bill.
Dr. Ken Roy
Addiction Recovery Resources
Louisiana Psychiatric Medical Association
Bridge House/Grace House;
Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans, Greater N.O. Drug Demand Reduction Coalition;
Smart Approaches to Marijuana-La.