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J Gen Intern Med. 2011 Nov;26(11):1364-7. doi: 10.1007/s11606-011-1840-4. Epub 2011 Aug 24.

"But my doctor recommended pot": medical marijuana and the patient-physician relationship.

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Behavioral Health, Denver Health, Denver, CO 80220, USA.


As the use of medical marijuana expands, it is important to consider its implications for the patient-physician relationship. In Colorado, a small cohort of physicians is recommending marijuana, with 15 physicians registering 49% of all medical marijuana patients and a single physician registering 10% of all patients. Together, they have registered more than 2% of the state to use medical marijuana in the last three years. We are concerned that this dramatic expansion is occurring in a setting rife with conflicts of interest despite insufficient scientific knowledge about marijuana. This system diminishes the patient-physician relationship to the recommendation of a single substance while unburdening physicians of their usual responsibilities to the welfare of their patients.

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