A look into how stigma can influence a doctor’s practice
Ever since the legalization of recreational cannabis, one of the first things I wanted to do was ask my doctor about medicinal cannabis. My curiosity surrounding medical cannabis and how or if I am able to incorporate it into my life has become even more prevalent. More importantly, I wanted to know about the relationship surrounding doctors, patients and cannabis. From my perspective, doctors hold an extremely powerful role in cannabis culture in terms of its cultural acceptance and influence. But I was more interested in knowing how a GP would do in a conversation about cannabis post legalization. Here’s how my conversation with my doctor about cannabis went.
Doctors are the societal experts in health (some serious life or death topics). Everyone will believe and choose to believe everything their doctor says! If a doctor tells you to eat an apple a day, you best believe that you’ll do it. So imagine the day doctors accept cannabis as part of their medical expertise and tell you to smoke out of an apple rather than just eat it!
For some context, my family physician is an Asian woman and has been my doctor for about five years now, and she comes as a recommendation from my mother (also a registered nurse). As a personal analysis on the type of person, my doctor is; a very conservative woman who is extremely intelligent and soft-spoken. And probably overwhelmed with the number of patients in her care.
My conversation with my non-cannabis doctor about cannabis didn’t go well because my doctor said… not very much.
It was probably the shortest conversation I’ve had with a doctor about anything. I can’t help but wonder if she’s uncomfortable with the idea of cannabis or if it’s a personal decision that influences her medical practice.
She asked me, why I want to try cannabis
There was definitely a little bit of a tone to her voice when she asked me that question. I told her I was curious about it as a medicine and wanted to know more information. I noticed she was visually taken aback by my question. And I don’t think she knew how to inform me about medicinal cannabis. She looked almost skeptical and disapproving of the whole notion of someone potentially being curious about cannabis as a medicine.
She told me it’s the last medical resort.
Despite her limiting response, she advised me that cannabis is usually the option that you take when everything else you’ve tried has not worked. It’s the last option. I don’t get it. Why can’t it be the first option?
My doctor told me to Google it.
She told me to look into it myself. There’s not much else for me to say here.
Doctors need to educate themselves about cannabis consumers and practices
Therefore, to say that I was more than disappointed with how that conversation went would probably be the understatement of the year. I’ve had longer conversations with her about my birth control methods. Although I can’t be upset about this, she’s clearly not educated enough about medicinal cannabis and can’t advise on it. However, this conversation definitely highlights how unprogressive medical practitioners can be when it comes to connecting their patients about all options of medical practices.
Thus, if there’s one thing, I want to tell her and other medical practitioners, be better and try harder. Cannabis is legal. Medical cannabis has been legal; it’s time y’all rise up to the demand and advance, adopt, and adapt.
Let us know in the comments your thoughts on doctors and cannabis post legalization.
Please note this article is written for general, entertainment and public education purposes only. Although we conducted our research on this topic from sources that are believed to be reliable. We do not claim the information presented here is accurate. The team at Very Jessica Fung is not responsible for injury, loss, or damage, personal or otherwise, that could occur when consuming cannabis and/or drugs. Please review the VJF legal disclosure for more information regarding our content.