Just because medical marijuana may be legal in a state doesn't mean doctors are necessarily experts in those areas. In fact, despite an increasing acceptance about the positive effects of medicinal cannabis, many in the medical field continue to be woefully uneducated in how marijuana products can help patients.
Dr. Nina Robb is a practicing doctor in Michigan who's certified to prescribe medical marijuana. She recently gave an interview to a newspaper in Detroit discussing some of the issues about cannabis education amongst medical professionals.
In medical school, Robb says she was never taught anything about the effects of marijuana on the body, even though she received ample education on alcohol, heroin and meth. Everything she knows about medical marijuana has been self-taught. She even took a four-hour course that the state of New York requires their doctors to take before they can prescribe cannabis products. While that may not sound like a lot, it's more than the state of Michigan requires from doctors.
The biggest issue for doctors in the United States for marijuana education is the federal government's insistence to prevent information about the positive effects from disseminating. While the National Institute of Health highlights many studies into the positive effects of marijuana, many of these are done outside the United States. Research in America lags far behind, meaning many doctors in the U.S. may not be exposed to the same studies and information as those in other countries. For instance, Health Canada produces a 158-page booklet filled with information about medicinal cannabis that can be easily obtained by Canadian doctors.
So if you're in the United States and looking to get an opinion from a doctor about medicinal marijuana, there's a pretty good chance a cursory Google search may be more informative.