Open Letter to Doctors About Medical Marijuana
I recently opened Substance, a community agency that provides safe access to cannabis in a judgement-free environment. Marijuana has become increasingly relevant in patients’ health care choices. I would therefore like to introduce our organization and facility as a resource, and share what we’re seeing and hearing from clients. More importantly, I would like to understand your views, issues, and concerns about cannabis use.
Substance is a comfortable space for individuals who have been self-medicating in isolation to associate; we believe in the humanizing power of emotional connection. We have been seeing clients who are medicating with cannabis primarily in effort to reduce their use of prescription narcotics. Our clients are commonly reporting using cannabis to help them eat, sleep, and successfully function.
They report cannabis providing therapeutic relief that their traditional medical care does not offer. For example, one of our clients is a hospice patient who is sleeping through the night for the first time without morphine — and wakes with less lethargy. Despite the relief found with cannabis, many clients struggle continue to struggle with its marginalization.
Powerful stereotypes around cannabis clubs and biased media coverage misrepresent the role a well-run organization like Substance can play in the lives of patients. Perhaps outdated beliefs may hinder the best provision of patient care; physician awareness and involvement could even lead to a change in prescribing habits.
The conversation about cannabis is shifting in this country and community. Substance is on the forefront of that shift and is committed to being a reliable partner to the medical and patient community.
We are unclear what local doctors think about medical cannabis and would therefore love to hear from you. I welcome you and your staff to tour our facility. If you are too busy to get away from your office, I would be delighted to come see you too. Let’s talk, please. Be part of the conversation.