Don’t Ask Don’t Tell: What Has the Oregon Medical Board Been Smoking?

potOne man, Ed Glick, is on a mission to provide patients in Oregon with the care they need and deserve. He is a co-founder of The American Cannabis Nurses Association, a group dedicated to integrating the science of the endocannabinoid system into the practice of nursing.

When the Oregon Medical Board released their winter report back in January, they focused on the dangers of chronic opiate usage and noted that physicians needed to ensure that patients were not taking too much because of the risk of overdose.

They also suggested that patients should not be given opiates in conjunction with marijuana. Which, to Glick, is odd considering that according to various peer-reviewed articles, the endocannabinoid system is a parallel pain neural pathway that operates synergistically with opiates and reduces the amount needed to be effective. If the OMB was so interested in ensuring that patients took fewer opiates, it made no sense to him that they were encouraging doctors to force their patients to choose between the two medicines.

Glick feels that the medical marijuana system is broken in Oregon and that medical leaders have been operating under a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in regard to medical marijuana. Instead of working with patients to properly inform them about pain management, he feels that some doctors are marginalizing and discriminating against OMMP patients.

Glick believes that medical care is supposed to be an “open and non-judgmental discussion between patients and doctors,” but that the cloud of repression and fear surrounding medical marijuana from the federal government and the OMB is tainting that discussion by equating medical marijuana usage with drug abuse.

His passion and advocacy for the rights of medical marijuana patients extend beyond position papers and associations. Glick holds a monthly support group for patients, the Corvallis Cannabis Support Group, on the second Wednesday of every month from 6 to 8 p.m. at 551 SW 4th Street. He invites all patients to come and share their experiences.

By William Tatum