Last updated on: 5/13/2008 | Author: ProCon.org

Richard H. Schwartz, MD Biography

Title:
Physician in Advanced Pediatrics at INOVA Fairax Hospital for Children, in Vienna, Virginia
Position:
Con to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"
Reasoning:

“[S]upport of the use of marijuana for medical purposes is scientifically unfounded. There is no evidence that marijuana is superior to ondansetron (Zofran), dexamethasone, or synthetic tetrahydrocannabinol (Marinol) as an antiemetic in patients undergoing chemotherapy. Nor is there scientific evidence to support the use of marijuana for AIDS-associated anorexia, depression, epilepsy, narrow-angle glaucoma, or spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis. As a crude drug, moreover, marijuana has been shown to produce undesirable mental changes, disturbances in coordination, giddiness, and hypotension in at least 25 percent of novice users, especially elderly persons.”

“Correspondence,” The New England Journal of Medicine, July 14, 1994

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:
  • Physician, Advanced Pediatrics, Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children, Vienna, Virginia
  • Professor of Pediatrics, Medical College of Virginia
  • Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
  • Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC
  • Member, International Drug Strategy Institute, a Division of Drug Watch International
  • Voted one of the “Best Doctors in America” by the Consumers’ Research Council of America
  • Honor Roll, Inova Health System Foundation
Education:
  • MD, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, D.C.
  • Residency, Children’s Hospital, Washington, DC
Other:
  • None found