Harvard Medical Students Say Schools Need to Teach More About Medical Marijuana

While medical marijuana is becoming legal in more and more states, many doctors and other health professionals are still not educated in how it can help treat their patients. And some students at Harvard are trying to change that.

Two students at Harvard Medical School recently published an op-ed arguing that medical schools around the country need to teach more information about medical marijuana. They noted that while 29 states have legalized medical marijuana, only 1 in 10 medical schools included cannabis in their curriculum. So the next generation of doctors are not receiving information that many of their patients need to make informed choices about cannabis. And even more worrisome, they noted one survey found 90 percent of doctors don't feel confident prescribing cannabis.

The students also noted that medical marijuana knowledge could also help doctors when it comes to treating chronic pain. As we've noted many times, states with legalized medical marijuana have lower rates of opioid abuse. So obviously, medical professionals should see the benefits cannabis can have in avoiding their patients become addicts. But since they're not being taught properly about how cannabis can be an opioid alternative, that means they can also be the ones prescribing those dangerous drugs. 

Imagine if another drug was legal but doctors were given absolutely no information about it. That doesn't make sense, right? So the same should be true of marijuana as well.

(h/t STAT News)

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I've been covering cannabis for nearly five years, and by now I'm all too accustomed to the impersonal cannabis conference at a stuffy, generic hotel or expo hall, brimming with white guys in suits, and generally lacking in the spirit of well, cannabis. (The woes of legalization, I suppose.) So it was a breath of fresh air when I walked into what felt like a giant atrium in downtown LA for a new kind of cannabis conference. Located in what's called the Valentine Grass Room in an industrial area past the hustle and bustle of the DTLA skyscrapers, Microscopes & Machines (M&M) boasted a diverse array of speakers, from doctors and lawyers to chemists and cultivators on the frontlines of the cannabis industry.

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