Opinion: Chairman of WV Academy of Family Physicians — ‘No such thing as Medical Marijuana’

By Dr. Adam Breinig, DO, FAAFP
Chairman of WV Academy of Family Physicians
Senior Council-at-Large of WV State Medical Association


This year’s West Virginia legislative session has addressed several contentious issues. As an active member of the West Virginia Academy of Family Physicians’ advocacy voice, we are geared up to protect and promote the health of our West Virginia patients. One of the most notable issues of concern now being addressed at the Capitol in Charleston is Medical Marijuana.

As I have stated before, there is no such thing as “Medical Marijuana.” As a doctor, I can’t write you a script for X mg of marijuana and tell you to take it 3 times a day. There is no process to purify the marijuana, and there is no regulatory body that mandates the quantity and consistency in the product. It is a sheepish ploy by the marijuana advocates to try to push their agenda onto the medical community. If they want to make marijuana legal, then discuss decriminalization of it. Don’t place doctors in the middle of their battle. The medical benefits of marijuana are anecdotal and scarce to say the least. And no matter what state you live in, it is illegal on the Federal level. I can’t believe how some just ignore this fact.

To support my statement about how no one regulates the purity of it, CBS in Los Angeles just released a story a couple weeks ago about how a young man died from a fungal infection from smoking contaminated “medical marijuana.” He was diagnosed with a completely curable form of cancer, was receiving chemotherapy, and decided he wanted to smoke some marijuana to quell the side effects of the cancer treatment. In the liberal state of California, this is “legal” and it killed him. The marijuana that he received was not regulated or inspected for purity or consistency, and it was laced with fungus. He inhaled the fungus, became infected with his depressed immune system, and quickly died.

Only IF and WHEN marijuana becomes approved by the FDA and marketed in some form where purity and consistency can be determined and regulated, will this doctor be prescribing it for anyone. I can’t believe how cavalier some people are about putting an unknown substance that could be laced with fungus, bacteria, or even other hallucinogenics in their bodies, but yet we have to battle anti-vaxxers every year that can’t accept the decades of proven medical data that show vaccines are safe and efficacious. It is a weird world that we live in.

Remember, patients don’t hire lobbyists. Be a voice for your patients. Participate in medical advocacy. Call your Legislator, Congressman, Senator. Fight alongside the AAFP!

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