The Patients: Pioneers of Medical Cannabis

 In Medical Cannabis

A Tribute to The Patients, the Real Pioneers of Medical Cannabis

What have patients won? What Do Patients Need? Where are we headed?

As we move towards eventual tax and regulation, either in November, but more certainly in 2012, the question comes up about who will control the “market”.

I say the patients.

Many of the patients who began consulting me about medical cannabis in the early period after the passage of the California Compassionate Use Act continue to receive benefit from cannabis medicine. As of mid-February, 2010, there have been 50 patients who have returned to my office at least 10 or more times for their annual re-evaluation. One has been in 12 times, and 11 more have had 11 renewal visits. Over 250 patients have seen me at least 7 times to renew their medical cannabis recommendations! Thank you all!

In response to one of my most recent blog post of March 10, 2010: Pioneers of Medical Cannabis – Chris Conrad: Expert Witness, I had this exchange with one of my long-time patients:

“Hi Dr. Lucido, This is great what you are doing. Let us just remember, that the pioneers of medical cannabis are the patients. M.”

“Hi M, That’s right! If it wasn’t for the patients, we wouldn’t have the medical cannabis laws at all. I can already think of some patient-pioneers , like Robert Randall, the first federal medical cannabis patient after cannabis prohibition. I recognize the importance of the contributions of patients to the changes in the law and medical practice. and I am looking for patients who would agree to be contacted by carefully selected interviewers about their experiences with cannabis medicine ….Let me know if you are ever interested, and I can put you on a list of patients to call….and I certainly understand if you don’t want to!”

Of course, I would never suggest coming out about your medical use to be taken lightly. It should be given some thought, and I would be happy to speak to anyone about the pros and cons of doing so.

When I think of those patients who have come out publicly about their use of medical cannabis, I first think about courage of the Federal Patients who have been willing to speak out: Robert Randall, the first federal patient, died before I got a chance to meet him; And my friends Elvy Musikka, Irv Rosenfeld, and George McMahon, with whom I have shared many opportunities to speak about this safe and effective medicine.

Of course, there is one of my own cannabis patients whose case I have permission to talk publicly about: Angel Raich, who took her case the Supreme Court. See my earlier blog post: The “Victory” of Raich: What patients have won.

One Minute Book Review

Marijuana Medical Handbook by Dale Gieringer PhD, Ed Rosenthal, Gregory. T. Carter MD [reviewed by Frank Lucido MD in the Summer 2009 issue of O’Shaugnessy’s Journal of Cannabis in Clinical Practice]

It’s the book I wish I had written. Yes, you can quote me. This is a book accessible to patients, caregivers, politicians, journalists, and patient- advocates, yet informative and authoritative enough to be useful to most practicing physicians. In fact, I think this book is so important that I now give a gift copy to each patient at the time of his or her 10th annual medical cannabis evaluation in my office.

More blog posts about California medical cannabis patients


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