Regarding reader Randall Grantham’s concern that the Trib use “reality-based opinions” in discussion of the medical marijuana issue, specifically taking issue with “the statement by the OB-GYN that you relied on for your cautionary advice” (“No expert witness,” Other Views, Aug. 17):
I would suggest that this physician, who has served this state as president of the Florida Medical Association, has a fairly clear understanding of exactly what the medical, political and societal issues are.
Grantham then goes on to ask if “you can, with a straight face, compare physician-approved use of marijuana to the ... practice of handing out ... opiates?” I will remind him that these opiates were also approved and prescribed by physicians. Unfortunately, it is not difficult to find those in my profession who are willing to be less than circumspect in their prescribing patterns, and even easier to find those on the receiving end of these prescriptions willing to divert the drugs for monetary gain or for personal abuse.
Finally, I would suggest that he have a discussion with the parents of Levy Pongi of Colorado, as they could very personally contradict his statement that “no one has ever died from marijuana.”
Those of us who work on the front lines of drug abuse and have seen what has happened in this state with the pill mills are indeed very frightened that we are opening up another Pandora’s Box. Don’t let my straight face fool you.
Malcolm Root, M.D.