Last updated on: 5/19/2014 | Author: ProCon.org

Robert B. Whitney, MD Biography

Title:
Public Policy Chair of the Erie County Council for the Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Position:
Con to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"
Reasoning:

“There is not an adequate base of research that shows marijuana, in its most common form (smoked), is effective for treating any serious medical condition.

Therefore, no major group of medical experts supports the use of smoked marijuana for treatment of health problems…

We do not have enough information to reliably estimate the safety of marijuana when used long term. Most studies to date have followed patients for very short periods of time, often less than a week. This is not adequate to assess risk of use for indefinite periods of time. We do know that marijuana can contribute to short- and possibly long-term brain impairment, motor vehicle accidents, risk of addiction and an increased risk of long-term psychosis in vulnerable people.”

“Another Voice: Use of Medical Marijuana Not Supported by Research,” Buffalo News, May 19, 2014

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:
  • Public Policy Chair and board member, Erie County Council for the Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse (ECCPASA)
  • Former Medical Director, Addiction Treatment Services, Erie County Medical Center
  • Former Clinical Assistant Professor, family medicine and psychiatry, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
  • Retired physician (internal medicine)
  • Completed residency and internship at University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
Education:
  • MD, University of Maryland At Baltimore, 1972
Other:
    None found
Quoted in:
  1. Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?