by Chad D. Kollas, MD FACP FCLM FAAHPM

Read the full article from the summer issue of AAHPM Quarterly.

No matter where you live, if you’ve practiced palliative care long enough, one of your patients has asked you about medical marijuana. “Does it help pain? Does it help nausea or poor appetite? And, perhaps the scariest question for some of us, “Will you prescribe it for me?”

In a surprising move in November 2009, the American Medical Association changed its position on medical marijuana, calling for changes to encourage research about its potential benefits. Other influential medical specialty societies subsequently published similar position statements.

Intrigued by that trend, I co-presented a session about medical marijuana at the Academy’s 2011 Annual Assembly in Vancouver. Several attendees expressed interest in the topic and agreed that AAHPM should consider a position statement about medical marijuana. This article represents a written update of that presentation, and it revisits a controversial question: Should AAHPM consider creating a policy statement about medical marijuana?