The federal government hasn’t lifted its ban on marijuana or allowed for its (federal) dollars to be used in support of the use of drugs that (to the feds) have no true medical purpose or use.

Most of the hospitals in Maine take federal funding from programs such as Medicare. Without federal funds, hospitals close, devastating Maine’s ability to meet the burgeoning health care needs of uninsured and underinsured residents.

L.D. 35 makes hospitals pot distribution centers. It targets federal licensing and oversight procedures, current hospital regulations and the hospitals’ boards’ disapproval toward marijuana use in the facility.

Hospital boards allow accessing synthetic forms of THC (Marinol, Sativex and Cesamet are Food and Drug Administration-approved alternatives). Synthetics leave out the euphoria (“high”) from psychoactives.

For distributing drugs that are unauthorized by the FDA, the hospital can be shut down. Doctors require FDA pre-approval for prescribing drugs. Doctors forced to distribute marijuana risk losing their medical/FDA license.

I’m all for the legalization of marijuana and treating it the same as tobacco. I believe that a state should decide its unique medical delivery methods. I’m not for the fallout that would ensue from blind ambition.

When marijuana is legal, smoke, eat and inject as much cannabis as possible. Until then, self-treatment hinders doctors’ efforts to develop evidence-based methods.

Medication is still a drug. At a hospital, all medications will be delivered to the patient in the correctly prescribed, proportioned dose and form. What gives medical marijuana advocates the right to expect special treatment?

Doctors train all their lives to be expert healers and protectors. L.D. 35 throws them under a bus. When empowering sheep, one does not kill the herdsman, instead, opens the gate to the pen.

Alexandre Lavoie

South Portland