I write regarding the recent article “State loses mental health grants over medical cannabis.”

I have been a physician practicing Internal Medicine in Maine since 1978. I have never prescribed “medical cannabis” Last week The New England Journal of Medicine published an article saying there is “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse” for marijuana. Adequate scientific studies have not been done.

Physicians cannot say that marijuana provides medical benefit or does not have harmful side effects. The name “medical marijuana” is a misnomer since no scientific data support its medical benefit. The statewide referendum which passed and now allows its sale was ill advised.

More scientific studies are needed to know the risks we are taking prescribing this drug. The article explains that Maine is losing $3.3 million federal dollars used in the “Maine-AWARE Program to bolster the social service infrastructure to support student mental health. You state this loss is “a setback for a state that is trying to cope with an alarming amount of mental health issues among students.” “Maine had the highest rate in the country of children diagnosed with depression, anxiety, or attention deficit disorder.”

Since the FDA considers marijuana a controlled drug, this conflicts with the Maine medical marijuana law which is allowing students to take “medical marijuana” in the classroom.

Clearly, we are going down a harmful path. All medications, especially mind altering drugs, need careful testing before they are made available to patients, especially students.

Daniel Wood


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