I ran across your name on a blog I use, HorsesAss. Basically a friend of mine, Lee Rosenberg, is advocating the "rights" of transplant patients to medical marijuana. He refers to a Stranger article using you as a reference.
While I am personally a strong advocate of legalized MJ and am impressed with the clinical work on THC, I worry that misplaced activism will misuse the MMJ issue to cause even more harm at the UW from "compliance."
I wonder if you would be interested in replying.
If you want I can post to HA or (really) I suggest you post. either ion HA or at my blog, SeattleJew.
Lee is a good guy, but it seems to me that academics need to be firm as we can about keeping the politcal process out of clinical medicine.
Here is my post.
It refers to the piece on HA and that refers to a piece in the Stranger.
Last night at DL we had a speaker who, rightly, trashed the radical right for its misuse of journalism. His point was that FAUX and fiends misuses the media by lies and slurs. True enough.
So, is the same strategy OK if it is used to promote a liberal cause? I share Lee's enthusiasm for legalizing marijuana ... I even support legalizing marijuana. BUT, that support does not justify swift boat attacks on the medical care system.
The article cited by Lee, has more horse turds than a 1908 NY City street..
Here area few, simple facts:
1. Experts ... Of the two UW "expert" cited in suport of the reporter's attcks on transplant medicine, Dr. Roffman has no relevant credential. Roffman is a (PhD) sociologist specializing in entrepreneurship.
Dr. Greg Carter is a clinician in rehab medicine who does study use of cannabinoids in muscular dystrophy. According to the article, contamination of MJ by a fungus is the major reason userfs of commercial MJ are rejected and Dr. Carter rejects this.
I am sufficiently skeptical that I plan to email Greg Carter and see if I can get him to comment. Until then let me point out to HA readers that njeither Dr. Carter nor I (nor Lee or the Stranger reporter) know the rules used to assign priorities for transplant.
3.Just because some Doc prescribes MJ does not mean that this is good medical practice. As long as something is harmless, as MJ probably is, a physician can prescribe ANYTHING. Your friendly local doc can prescribe massage, sex, herbal tees, or chocolate covered grasshoppers. Marijuana is NOT an approved drug. The designation of MMJ exists BECAUSE of the same dumb laws that pretend it is a gharmful drug.
4. Medical MJ is an impure plant, not very different in its supervison than healthfood peanut butter. Why do I mantion the latter? Well, like MJ, peanut butter is a good "soil" to grw a toxic fungus. If the shop grinds its own PB but is nto sufficiently careful, you may get aflatoxin .. a carcinogen .. along with that PB&J sandwich. I suspect that the fungus Apergillis, can grow on MJ even after it is is provided to a pt unless the stuff is carefully kept.
Given the costs of a transplant and the rarity of donor organs, would it be unreasonable of a transplant committee to prioritize those patients most willing to abode by strict guidance form their physicians?
Finally Lee, all of us are worried about the future of healthcare. As an inmate of the healthcare asylum I can tell you one of the biggest problems we face is overwhelmingly regulation resulting from activists groups.
Stephen M. Schwartz