When human lives are at stake, there is simply no room for emotional decisions based on pseudo-science. But since when does anybody listen to anything I have to say?

Individuals are being removed from organ transplant lists because they are users of medical marijuana. Most recently, a staffer at a dispensary that is kind enough to refer people to me for medical marijuana prescriptions told me about a 30ish young man who is in renal kidney failure. He’s been taken off the list because –you guessed it – he is a user of medical marijuana. I’m afraid it’s more common that I’d like to admit.

This makes no sense to me. I have sent a message to this young man; I would like to speak with him, although he is not my patient. No results yet. I do know a couple of facts. Marijuana is disarmingly safe. I cannot find any cases where marijuana has caused or exacerbated a case of either renal or hepatic failure. It is worthy of note that the metabolites mostly, as far as I can figure, seem to go through the liver. The reasons given for declining Mr. Smith from the liver transplant list – and others who are denied transplants based on medical marijuana use – are pseudo science at best.

There is an argument that marijuana may carry aspergillus infection into a system artificially compromised in terms of immune function by the drugs used to fight rejection of a transplanted organ. I think marijuana is the most over-cleaned and fussed with entity that has ever come out of the plant kingdom. I can find no evidence of this, and the accusation is pretty unbelievable. There is an argument that everyone should be six months free of substance abuse before offered a precious organ for transplantation. This wall of decision does not differentiate between crystal meth and alcohol and marijuana. Marijuana — categorized even arbitrarily as a substance of abuse when withdrawal is rare and consists mainly of mood swings — is not of threat of death like most substances of abuse.

The one that seems most trivial and bothers me the most, perhaps for that reason, is the assertion that someone who could be “stoned” might not have what it takes to follow the complex necessities of a post-transplant drug program. Marijuana was introduced into our hemisphere in the early 19th century as a way of keeping people working, hard and lots. The overwhelming majority of the people who see me for medical marijuana want to continue to work, and lean on their medical marijuana to be able to do that. Studies in Jamaica and Costa Rica show no significant psychological descent of function from marijuana. Yes, people work hard and well. Why, in this time of science, do people guess? If there is any doubt if a person can handle this, there is great psychological testing to check. Instead, we have emotional decisions that are bolstered by later-researched pseudo-facts.

Not a way to live. Not a way to decide who lives and dies.

Author's Bio: 

Practicing Medicine Since 1981

In her medical career, she has studied in Europe and Canada as well as the USA. She has attended specialty training beyond medical school in the fields of general surgery, neurology and neurosurgery and psychiatry (specializing in psychopharmacology).

Experienced In Many Situations

She has worked in a variety of positions, including:
■Fireman/EMT
■Medical school professor
■General and Orthopedic surgeon
■Brain surgeon
■Army Medical Corps psychiatrist
■Prison psychiatrist
■Community Mental Health Center staff
■Consultant to a major transplant hospital
■Drug researcher

“Whatever It Takes!”

She currently has her own indepenent clinic in San Diego where she is concentrating on what she calls Mind/Body medicine — or Integrative Medicine. Her practice is cash-only, doesn’t accept insurance or government payments, and she operates on the concierge, or “private doctor” practice model to give her patients the absolute best quality of care and the highest level of confidentiality.

Dr. Goldstein’s philosophy is “Whatever It Takes!” Her goal is to do everything possible to solve whatever problem she is presented. This includes seeing patients as quickly as possible — not making them wait weeks for an appointment. This includes making appointments days, nights, weekends or holidays. This includes making house-calls. And it includes using the best, most innovative treatments available — most of which are unknown to standard, mainstream doctors.

Her focus is on transitioning patients away from prescription drugs and onto natural substances. She is also a master practitioner of Emotional Freedom Technique, a powerful and dynamic form of energy psychology that usually brings quicker results than traditional psychotherapy.