Last updated on: 9/26/2008 | Author:

Michael D. Roth, MD Biography

Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Con to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"

“To the Editor: You point to largely experiential evidence of the medicinal benefits of marijuana and the apparent absence of serious short-term toxicity. However, a note of caution is warranted. Although it is true that smoking marijuana carries no immediate risk of death, there may be serious adverse effects in the very patients for whom medicinal marijuana is most commonly considered (i.e., those whose immune defenses are already compromised by AIDS or cancer plus chemotherapy). For example, in patients with AIDS, marijuana use has been associated with the development of both fungal and bacterial pneumonias. Moreover, among HIV-positive persons, marijuana use has been shown to be a risk factor for rapid progression from HIV infection to AIDS and the acquisition of opportunistic infections or Kaposi’s sarcoma, or both. Cellular studies and studies in animals lend support to these potential health consequences of marijuana.”

Letter to the Editor, New England Journal of Medicine, Apr. 17, 1997

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:
  • Professor of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA
  • Member, Inter-departmental Graduate Program in Toxicology, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA
  • Medical Board Certification, Critical Care Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine, 1989
  • Medical Board Certification, Pulmonary Disease, American Board of Internal Medicine, 1988
  • Medical Board Certification, Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine, 1986
  • Member,Phi Beta Kappa
  • Fellowship, Pulmonary Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine, 1986-1989
  • Residency, Internal Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine, 1984-1986
  • Internship, Internal Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine, 1983-1984
  • MD, UCLA School of Medicine, 1983
  • BS, summa cum laude, Biological Sciences, University of California, Irvine, 1979
  • None found
Quoted in:
  1. Can Marijuana Help AIDS/HIV Patients?