Psychiatrists in the USA have called on physicians to speak out in support of science based drug approval rather than allow cannabis use to be approved by public opinion.
Major medical associations have opposed the use of cannabis as a medicine as there is no scientific approval, dosage or quality control.
Drugs prescribed for medical conditions are available to combat symptoms for which medical cannabis is advocated.
The physicians have a duty to inform patients of the adverse impacts of cannabis use and its link to medical complications, mental illness and driving impairment.
(Source: American Journal of Psychiatry 6 June 2012 commentary)
This timely professional advice is pertinent to Australia where cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug.
Those pushing legalized illicit drug use in Australia do not understand the severe medical, mental and community impacts of drugs.
Cannabis causes addiction, drugged driving, memory deficits, decreased concentration, schizophrenia and other medical conditions.
Medical cannabis is a stalking horse for legalizing the manufacture, sale and use of cannabis.
Any acceptance of cannabis will ultimately lead to more use particularly amongst young people as the message is that cannabis use is OK.
Physicians need to be fully informed of the risks of cannabis use so as to assist any patients that come to them for help.
Cancer patients in particular need to know that cannabis use causes cancer and that any use will compound their medical problems.