By Christian Action League Staff
Christian Action League
June 9, 2022
When the North Carolina Senate was debating SB 711 – N.C. Compassionate Care Act, one particular poll (actually a pre-session survey) from Carolina Partnership for Reform was cited several times by proponents. SB 711 is the initiative to make medical marijuana legal in the Tar Heel state. The survey allegedly showed overwhelming support across the state for so-called medicinal pot, even as high as 77% among evangelicals.
The question put to those surveyed asked:
Would you support or oppose the General Assembly legalizing medical marijuana for patients with a prescription from a doctor?
The Christian Action League suggests that any results from this survey should be thoroughly dismissed because the question is flawed. Therefore, any results are unquestionably skewed.
These are the facts:
- Physicians are forbidden by law to prescribe smoked marijuana.
According to the American Medical Association (AMA) Journal of Ethics:
“Currently, it is illegal for physicians (even in states where medical marijuana is legal) to prescribe the drug because it is a schedule 1, and prescribing it would constitute aiding and abetting the acquisition of marijuana, which could result in revocation of DEA licensure and even prison time.”
Doctors can prescribe three marijuana-related legal alternatives, Marinol, Cesamet, and Epidiolex. But not smoked marijuana.
2. It is a common myth that one needs a doctor’s prescription to obtain medical marijuana.
William J. Bennett, the former director of the Office of the National Drug Control Policy under President George H.W. Bush, and co-author Robert White, a former assistant U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey, in Going to Pot: Why the Rush to Legalize Marijuana is Harming America, admonish:
“As many in the media are wont to say – and many in the culture have adopted such language – one needs a doctor’s prescription to obtain medical marijuana. This is simply untrue.”
Note this online headline from the Raleigh News and Observer: N.C. Medical Marijuana Bill: How Would Pot Prescriptions Work… Or this quote from the North State Journal, “Marijuana would be legalized for medical use in North Carolina with a physician’s prescription and purchased through dozens of tightly regulated dispensaries in a measure receiving initial approval Thursday in the Senate.”
Bennet and White continue:
“No doctor in America can actually prescribe marijuana: it would violate the acceptable use of his Drug Enforcement Agency–authorized prescription pad. What the state laws require are not prescriptions, but recommendation notes or letters from a doctor (or a card issued by the state based on a letter from the doctor). The distinction is important as, again, the culture and children learn from the language that is being used: marijuana is not simply medicine a doctor can prescribe, no matter what it is called. It is not medicine to be found in any pharmacy.
“Additionally, never in the history of the FDA has there been an authorized form of medicine that is lit up and inhaled. There are doctors who are willing to write notes to patients who can go to dispensaries to buy marijuana cigarettes…Not pharmacies, but dispensaries…another important distinction.
“So, who are the doctors recommending marijuana? Any doctor can recommend it in a state that has legalized its medicinal use – and in many cases, the doctors are wholly out of the field of brain or even lung care: they are obstetricians, general practitioners, and doctors in almost every other specialty, including naturopathic medical doctors (not medical doctors or doctors of osteopathy)…
“It is worth noting that it is increasingly and tellingly difficult to actually find a psychiatrist to recommend marijuana…[T]he American Psychiatric Association’s official statement cites a strong association of cannabis use with the onset of psychiatric disorders and finds that adolescents are particularly vulnerable to harm. As one nationally prominent psychiatrist, Dr. Timothy Jennings put it: ‘Medical marijuana for the treatment of psychiatric problems is no better than prescribing cigarette smoke to treat lung disease.’”
In an email sent to Senators before voting on SB 711 on Thursday of last week, Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, said:
“We don’t do medicine by the ballot box or legislative fiat. After rigorous testing, we wait for the Food and Drug Association (FDA) to approve drugs for public health and safety. The current process, and unfortunately, that which other states have followed, is an end-run around the way this country does medicine. A robust political agenda drives it, intending to make recreational marijuana legal.
“Even when sponsors of such legislation may have no other motive than helping others, and even when we are told the legislation is drawn tightly to avoid abuses, we are already abusing the process, which has largely kept us safe for decades.”
Creech also said that the Christian Action League had previously addressed two other faulty polls when medical marijuana legislation was introduced. He pointed to the following:
Creech added, “I think when people hear the phrase ‘medical marijuana,’ they automatically assume doctors will be giving out prescriptions for it. And this has never been the case. Would the polled have answered differently if the facts were a part of the question or questions? Unless the poll specified the facts, unless the question somehow addresses some of the public’s faulty assumptions, it’s hard to say what they support. That’s why I think most, if not all of the polls or surveys on this subject are unreliable.”
SB 711 passed the Senate initially by a vote of 35-10. On its Third Reading, Monday evening, some opponents were absent, and the measure passed 36-7.
The bill now resides in the House Rules Committee. Speaker Moore has said medical marijuana legislation will likely have to wait until 2023.
However, this is no time to rest.
Please call or email your Representative in the North Carolina House and ask them to oppose any legislative initiative to make so-called medical marijuana legal.
If you don’t know who represents you in the N.C. Senate, click on this link to find out: https://www.ncleg.gov/FindYourLegislators