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You may be asking yourself, why do I need a "medical marijuana doctor?"  There are a couple answers to that question.  The first is that medical marijuana doctors understand the science and effectiveness of marijuana on a broad range of disease, because they've taken the time outside of their traditional education to listen to medical marijuana patients, observe the changes the patients indicate have taken place, and delve into the studies that are not part of the traditional medical school setting. (I recently looked up marijuana in the text books currently used in nursing school and found ZERO information other than a short outdated description of possibly effect).   There are many studies showing that science supports what patients report.  And that often is that marijuana is effective on a wide range of disease, without the horrendous side effects of the synthetic alternatives. 

The second answer is that even though there are piles of studies and patient testimonials, doctors hold licenses that they invested long hours and vast amounts of money into, and those licenses are regulated by the government.  The federal government still views marijuana as illegal, and although it may benefit many patients better than the prescription drugs they are currently taking, many doctors are not willing to risk their license.  Some doctors are so fearful of losing their license, they won't even discuss marijuana.  However, the tides are slowly turning, and it is patients that are leading the way.  Thousands upon thousands of patients report getting better results from marijuana, and without the side effects they experienced while taking pharmaceuticals. 

So why is the federal government so hesitant to ease up on the regulations of marijuana?  Why is marijuana classified as more dangerous than crack cocaine?  The simple answer is money.  And it has to do with the hemp version of the cannabis plant as well as the medical version of the cannabis plant.  There are vast multinational billion dollar companies that effect the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people, possibly millions, not to mention the stocks those companies represent.  You may be asking yourself why don't those companies just add cannabis to their product offerings?  Some can.  Some will.  And others can't. For instance the pharmaceutical companies could add a broad spectrum of cannabinoid based medicines to their product line, and likely benefit remarkably from the addition.  However the legal system, (lawyers, govt. fines collected from marijuana violations, police, and prison systems) will likely take a major economic hit.  And then there are the enormous amount of products (including pharmaceutical drugs)  that are produced from oil.  Hemp can be used to produce all those products just as oil is used.  So why wouldn't the oil companies just start growing hemp?  They could, and it certainly would be a clean and sustainable option, however the dollar is based on an oil economy.  So the federal government, as callous as it may seem is likely attempting to protect economic stability.  So the shift continues toward a natural approach with more and more patients raving about the effectiveness of medical marijuana in their personal healing, while other forces continue to fight for their jobs, and income.  You can't really blame them, but it does help a patient to understand why some doctors are so reluctant to write a "recommendation" for marijuana.  Notice the word "recommendation" and not "prescription."  Since doctor prescriptions are regulated by the DEA, no doctor writes a "prescription" for medical marijuana.  Instead "recommendations" are written to avoid the watchful eye of the DEA, who stands firm against the rescheduling or approval of marijuana as medicine, despite successful legalization programs in other countries.  But again, all we have to do is remind ourselves, it's all about the money.  And who gets more money from the drug war than those directly engaged in the fight?  If you dig a little deeper there are stories of government agencies themselves involved in smuggling to raise large amounts of cash to be used for black ops programs that bypass congressional approval.   So what is a patient to do?  Appreciate the fact that there are hundreds of passionate activists, entrepreneurs, and doctors willing to stick their neck out to give you the option of treating yourself with marijuana as medicine.  Cannabis (marijuana) was in many medicines in the early 1900's until it was banned by competing industries.  There are many cannabinoids (cannabis compounds) found in marijuana that have been found to be effective on a wide range of disease.  It is up to you to become actively involved in your treatment, and learn what cannabinoids will benefit you the most, and as you learn support other patients and doctors in their journey of rediscovering the medicinal aspects of marijuana.