Source: Wikimedia Commons

A few years ago I toured Israeli cancer hospitals and clinics. I was happily surprised to find a widespread acceptance of medical marijuana (MM), especially in the pediatric setting. Now, a new study of American doctors has shown widespread support for the use of MM in the USA as well. The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, showed that 85 to 95 percent of American doctors who deal with cancer in children, would be willing to help them get marijuana. This is despite the vicious and irrational campaign of the federal and some state governments against this relatively harmless weed.

All patients with cancer should have access, should they choose, to medical marijuana. It definitely seems to provide relief of nausea and other side effects of chemotherapy.

Perhaps we then can begin to tackle the thornier question of whether or not marijuana extracts have specific anti-cancer effects as well. A lot of people have strong opinions on this question, but there is very little actual clinical data. My guess is that it does help some patients. But as long as the government insists on misclassifying marijuana as a dangerous “Schedule 1” drug (like heroin) we are unlikely to arrive at any clear answers.

The Pediatrics article abstract: