Surgeon General

There is a new surgeon general, and Kevin Sabet approves:

Congratulations to the new @Surgeon_General Vivek Murthy, who opposes marijuana. “I don’t recommend marijuana.” http://t.co/TB0FMuQxoy

Marijuana’s a no-no, says desi Surgeon General nominee

Dr Vivek H Murthy (bottom left), President Obama’s nominee for the United States Surgeon General, believes the jury is still out on the medical benefits of marijuana and hence he wouldn’t prescribe it to his patients. Furthermore, if he had kids, he would advise them to stay away from it. […]

Murthy acknowledged that “this is a very important issue” in many states and noted that some of his patients too had spoken to him on the efficacy of marijuana.

“This is an important public health issue,” he noted, but asserted, “I wouldn’t prescribe medical marijuana myself.”

Murthy said, “In my estimation, while there is anecdotal evidence of benefits we hear about from cancer doctors and other physicians about medical marijuana, I agree with the AMA (American Medical Association) and other organiastions, that we need more information about the proven indications of medical marijuana as well as safe doses and the risks and the side effects, before we can safely prescribe it for medical purposes.”

“Just like other drugs,” he said, “I don’t recommend marijuana and I don’t think it’s a good habit to use marijuana.”

Murthy added, “If I had kids, I would tell them not to use it.”

Asked if he would use his bully pulpit as surgeon general to get this message out to the public, he said, “What I would do is — as I was mentioning earlier — I believe we need more information on marijuana.”

That doesn’t sound like opposition so much as it does an attempt to walk some kind of political line. The “I can’t decide without more information” response is not only getting old, but since there actually is so much information out there, it makes the speaker sound stupid and uninformed.

Of course, there are drugs prescribed and recommended all the time about which we have far less information than we do about marijuana.

But maybe Dr. Murthy is some kind of radical who actually opposes all drugs, including pharmaceuticals, too…

“Just like other drugs,” he said, “I don’t recommend marijuana…”

Hmmm… appears he hasn’t even really figured out the definition of the word “drugs.”

The Surgeon General position has always been political, and rarely relevant. It appears that this may be more of the same.

Now and then, however, we’ve had someone actually step up in the position.

“The evidence is overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms caused by such illnesses as multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS — or by the harsh drugs sometimes used to treat them. And it can do so with remarkable safety. Indeed, marijuana is less toxic than many of the drugs that physicians prescribe every day.” – M. Jocelyn Elders

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