I have been involved in medicine for 45 years. After high school in 1973, I joined the Navy and became a Hospital Corpsman, working mostly at Balboa Navy hospital in San Diego. After that, I pursued medical school at the University of Florida and received my MD in 1984. I went on to specialize in anesthesia and practiced cardiovascular and trauma anesthesia in Fort Myers, Florida for many years. Eventually my wife and I moved to Crystal River where I worked at Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center until semi-retiring in the summer of 2017.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed my traditional medical career, there are some things I have seen that bothered me:
- First, many patients are on multiple medications that don’t work well and have serious side effects. Doctors and the pharmaceutical industry have created a society dependent on expensive pharmaceutical drugs.
- Second, our for-profit medical system is grossly overpriced and inefficient. You may not need what you get or get what you need, it’s more likely you will get what is most profitable for the provider.
- Third, the very strange, misguided war on drugs has placed what seems to be the safest and most cost effective medicine , marijuana, on the taboo list and somehow kept it illegal to use in any manner since the 1930s.
I have had two brothers use marijuana, one for terminal cancer relief and one to help with the ravages of AIDS. It worked better than any prescription medicines they had. In the hospital I have had many respectable patients confide to me that they use it for pain relief, appetite stimulation, and relaxation. And since the explosion of public demand for its decriminalization, 29 states now allow medical marijuana. The anecdotal evidence for its usefulness is overwhelming. By labeling marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, scientists in this country have not been able to study its positive effects without losing their grant money and DEA licenses. Studies from other countries, including Israel, the Netherlands and Canada are convincing though.
I’ve become a marijuana doctor because I passionately believe in it. Patients deserve to be able to take control of their own care and have access to a non-addictive, safe alternative, cannabis. I hope that if you have any of the approved medical conditions, that you can benefit from this natural medicine, and will become one of the pioneers that chooses Medical Cannabis. Many very talented and intelligent people share this passion and have already joined me in this venture. We hope you will be one, too.