Last updated on: 7/8/2008 | Author:

Daniel Brookoff, MD, PhD Biography

Director of the Methodist Comprehensive Pain Institute
Con to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"

“My definition of a medication is a drug treatment that is aimed at one of the following three goals:

  1. the prolongation or preservation of life,
  2. the support of functioning or
  3. the relief of discomfort


The use of drugs for other purposes is not medicine. My guiding principle in caring for a patient is that any medication that I use must be the best available treatment for that particular situation. Because of this, marijuana cannot be considered a medication.”

“Marijuana Is Not Medicine: Somebody Had Better Tell Your Doctor!”, Fall 1997

[Editor’s note: Although classified as con to our question, Dr. Brookoff told Medical Marijuana in a 2002 phone interview that “although using a crude leaf as a medicine goes against how we [physicians] look at medicine in this country,” his basic rule in medicine is, in the words of St. Thomas Aquinas, “Nothing is intrinsically good or evil, but its manner of usage may make it so.”

He also stated in a 2005 email: “I would not turn in or stop a dying patient who was using marijuana, but I really would make an effort to offer that person a better alternative. That has always been the case with my practice.”]

2002 and 2005

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
     Key Experts
Physicians [Physicians are the "key experts" in the medical marijuana debate because the issue is thought by many to be ultimately based on the medical value and risks of marijuana, and Physicians, with their training and clinical work, should (at least in theory) have the best knowledge of marijuana's medical value and risks.] [Note: Key Experts definition varies by sites that have this designation.]
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Director, Methodist Comprehensive Pain Institute
  • Member, National Advisory Council for the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP)
  • Vice Chairman, the International Drug Strategy Institute
  • Member, American Pain Society
  • Certified, American Board of Internal Medicine; Subspecialty Certification in Medical Oncology
  • Member, Society for Academic Emergency Medicine
  • MD, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 1982
  • None found
Quoted in:
  1. Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option for Patients with a Terminal Illness and Suffering Severe Pain?