Objectives: The legalization of medical marijuana has been one of the most controversial areas of state policy change over the past twenty years. However, little information about whether medical marijuana is being used clinically to any significant degree. This paper will focus on potential drug abuse by individuals using the cover of medical marijuana cards to obtain permission to abuse the drug.
Methods: This paper started with a literature search that has completed and obtained some standardized patient or individual statistics to analyze the problem. In some of the studies, standardized patients were actors who depicted patients’ specific disorders.
Results: A study provided a piece of descriptive information about 1,655 applicants in California who sought a physician’s recommendation for medical marijuana. The request was regarding conditions for which they are seeking treatment. Moreover, the diagnoses they presented during screening for medical marijuana qualifications, many did not apply to primary medical conditions needing a recommendation for the use of the drug.
Conclusion: Deception is a problematic entity to detect or quantify. However, individuals aim at gaming the medical marijuana confusion having very deceitful in obtaining permission to use the drug recreationally under the medical cover.
The medicinal marijuana discussion is consuming the entire illegal drug regulation field. The treated and untreated cannabis vegetal, or its essential formulation is being used in managing disease symptoms and pain related illness. No endorsement, and no acknowledgment so far, have been rendered to marijuana in any fashion with regards to medication by the governing body of Drug Administration the FDA-The Federal Food & Drug Administration. The ages of scientific studies have forced the FDA into accepting some medicines that contain cannabinoid compounds in treatment. Hopefully, continued research may get the nation more marijuana-based drug approval (Beth, Marcus, & Reidenberg, 2007).
Individual researchers have claimed that the plant has various element chemicals that may help treat and disease symptoms. The legalization unpassed brought the arguments of the drug medical purposes (Stogner, Sanders, & Miller, 2014). The authorization of medical cannabis has been the most provocative area of State policy change over the past two decades. As many as 33 states, in addition to the District of Columbia, provide medical marijuana compensation. About 10 States, and the District of Columbia, has the recreational legalization of Marijuana use (Stogner, Sanders, & Miller, 2014).
However, little or no contact at all to if the so-called medicinal plant is actually a good quantifiable used to any significant degree. With the worries in government based clinical investigations to the herb, federal rules, and classification to this drug have enforced preventing quantified investigational research (NIDA, 2018). Fewer interviews have studied and acknowledged the behavior of individuals meddling in dishonesties or diversion (Bowles et al., 2017).
A high percentage of people using these drugs have engaged in some medication diversions, and only small sample size patients reported doing that. Most individual applicants have chronic pain, some form of mental health conditions, or sleeplessness, and about a third of the interviewees have used cannabis in place of other drugs or prescription pills (Bowles et al., 2017). This paper will be focused on the potential drug abuse use by individuals using the cover of medical marijuana card authorization to misuse the treatment. The writings will use researched numbers to analyze the problem (Bowles et al., 2017).
Another investigation was absorbed on doctor’s deception, primarily defined any dishonest patient who engaged directly in an attempt of acquiring access to medications or the marijuana card (Bowles et al., 2017). Doctor deception embraces individuals getting a restricted or controlled substance, more dosages, stronger doses, or stronger than needed pharmacological agents. Virtually all the studies directed to drug diversion by patient-based investigation failed to address the doctor’s deception directly (Beth, Marcus, & Reidenberg, 2007). The study also enumerated the number of patients that abuse, divert, or mismanagement medicine and directed consideration on traffickers, abusers, or who were recognized through care providers or law enforcement.
A study provided a piece of descriptive information about 1,655 applicants in California, for instance (Bowles et al., 2017). They sought out a physician’s recommendation for medical marijuana in regards to conditions which they did not have to need treatment (Stogner, Sanders, & Miller, 2014). The diagnoses made by physicians, many of which did not apply to primary medical conditions that required the treatment of the drug. The insights of the analysis brought up some useful information for future research (NIDA, 2018). On medical marijuana and marijuana policy, very few of those who sought a recommendation for treatment had cancer, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, or multiple sclerosis (Beth, Marcus, & Reidenberg, 2007). Some genuine individuals require medicinal cannabis, for example, pain- control, lack of appetite, prevention, and nausea and vomiting (NIDA, 2018).
These individuals met the criteria set to be enrolled in the cannabis medicinal card program. Many program organizers were reluctant to sign them up or prescribed due to fear of being deceived or have genuine cause to be in the program the study indicated (Stogner, Sanders, & Miller, 2014). Examples were the rate of which young individuals with ages ranging from 18-28 presenting with chronic pain diagnoses. These young people should not have diagnoses such as Low Back Pain, Hip Pain, Sciatica, nerve damage disorder, and insomnia (Bowles et al., 2017). The researchers presented a systematic analysis of physician records and questionnaires obtained from consecutive applicants seen during three months at nine medical marijuana specialty practices operating throughout the State (Beth, Marcus, & Reidenberg, 2007).
These individuals who seek a physician’s recommendation to use marijuana are mostly abusers. Individuals’ reports complain of pain at face value can have significant legal consequences for the doctor if indeed pain was legitimate and required treatment. Providers have to make every reasonable effort to confirm the diagnosis and the need for opioid therapy (Stogner, Sanders, & Miller, 2014). The studies then went through analysis for patients seeking permission for medical marijuana, and the frequency of their request. They also accounted for any prior substance abuse history and self-imposed diagnoses to meet the criteria for approval under deception (Stogner, Sanders, & Miller, 2014).
The FDA requested prudent clinical trials conducted with large human volunteers to determine any potential risks to life and any impending possible benefits of the medication (NIDA, 2018). To this extent, there has not been any large-scale research or a clinical trial conducted to attest to any rewarding benefits regarding the plant in contrast to the extracted cannabinoid ingredients (Bowles et al., 2017). In the reviewed article by Stogner, Sanders & Miller, a significantly more substantial portion of the participants reported using deception the obtain cannabis for their use or to divert to gain interest (2014). In one study, about twice the percentage of individual athletes reported attempted fraud for abusing the drug (Stogner, Sanders, & Miller, 2014).
Employment status was associated with each outcome. In each case, a more significant portion of those with full-time employment reported deception. A satisfying relationship between family income and fraud also emerged (Stogner, Sanders, & Miller, 2014). According to Bowles et al., eight different standardized patients visited 11 doctors. The standardized patient was detected seven times 13% and was suspected of being the standardized patient eight times 15% in the 55 visits in nonpainful illness (2017). The actor portraying a patient with vascular headache was detected twice 18% and suspected once 9% (Bowles et al., 2017). Another study included pain such as headache for one case and back pain for another, as the presenting symptom in two of 10 scenarios. Twenty-six of 263 visits by standardized patients were detected as such. The frequency of detection of each situation was not reported (Beth, Marcus, & Reidenberg, 2007).
Furthermore, some investigators thought that the use of medical marijuana for various treatment would decrease narcotic and prescription drugs for chronic pain control. Recently, the National Institute of Health (NIH) awarded more money to improve a study. The study that suggested cannabis use seems to have increased the potential dangers of developing opioid use disorder (NIDA, 2018).
According to SAMHSA, the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) also provided funds for a supplementary investigation to probe into the connection among misuse of narcotics use, and medical marijuana use among certain groups of individuals with the specific form of chronic pain control or treatment of particular illness (2019). Another research reported the examinations of Medicaid prescription required data and revealed that medical marijuana and adult-use marijuana regulations contributed to lower narcotic recommending rates and usage (Bowles et al., 2017).
The slogan medical marijuana denotes the idea of managing some chronic conditions or illness and other disease situations with the unprocessed plant or its processed extracts. Medical marijuana is still not recognized by the FDA as a class medication (SAMHSA, 2019). There are currently a couple of medicines stemming from cannabinoids that get used for cancer and HIV/AIDS patient. Methodical research to investigate the chemicals content of marijuana has proved to be very restrictive and controversial (SAMHSA, (2019). Cannabinoids the extracted substance from cannabis had gained FDA approval a year or so. The two drugs, namely Dronabinol and Nabilone, have been used to manage nausea and vomiting by inducing increase appetite in the patients that have cancer (SAMHSA, 2019).
As many researchers concluded, many physicians feel uncomfortable with authorizing Medical Marijuana use due to a lack of educational resources available. Currently, no evidence-based recommendations from authorities, but there have been short critical analyses on Medical Marijuana use for various chronic conditions are in discussions (Bradford, Ashley, & Bradford, 2016).
However, the issues of individuals seeking the recommendation to obtain the deceptive drug reasons are on the rise. Data has shown the alarming populations of various ages are formulating their own diagnoses, participating in physician deceptions, and diversions to obtain the medication for medical reasons (Bradford, Ashley, & Bradford, 2016).
The awareness of medical marijuana abuse should not equate prejudice in managing patients with cannabis treatment. Rather, a reinforcement to educate and counsel them for careful clinical interviewing and screening individuals for medical marijuana access (Bradford, Ashley, & Bradford, 2016). The utilization of medical cannabis and the issuing of the medical cannabis card should be monitored in the programs and local law enforcement databases (Beth, Marcus, & Reidenberg, 2007).
Mindfulness of providers’ understandings and the various points of view in their readiness to implement medical cannabis policies are critical for policy advancement in this ever-developing issue of medicinal or recreational.
- Beth Jung, Marcus M. & Reidenberg, (2007). Physicians Being Deceived, Pain Medicine, Volume 8, Issue 5, July 2007, Pages 433–437, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1526- 637.2007.00315.x
- Bradford, Ashley, & Bradford, W. (2016). Medical Marijuana Laws Reduce Prescription Medication Use in Medicare Part D. Health Affairs, 35(7), 1230-1236. DOI:10.1377/hlthaff.2015.1661
- Bowles, Nicole P., Herzig, Maya X., & Shea, Steven A. (2017). Recent legalization of cannabis use: Effects on sleep, health, and workplace safety. Nature and Science of Sleep, 9, 249-251.
- NIDA. (2018). Marijuana as Medicine. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana-medicine on 2019, June 25
- SAMHSA, (2019). Department of Health & Human Services: Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders, Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/updated
- Stogner, J., Sanders, A., & Miller, B. (2014). Deception for drugs: Self-reported “doctor shopping” among young adults. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine: JABFM, 27(5), 583-93. DOI: 10.3122/jabfm.2014.05.140107.