Clinical Professor at the School of Medicine at the University of Washington and Co-director of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA)/Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Center
Pro to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"
"There are really no other medications that have the same mechanisms of action as marijuana. Dronabinol (Marinol) is available by prescription in capsules, but has the distinct disadvantage of containing only synthetic delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is only one of many therapeutically beneficial cannabinoids in the natural plant. Interestingly, it is the most psychoactive of the cannabinoids and is the one that the Federal government allows to be prescribed!
Cannabinoids are now known to have the capacity for neuromodulation, via direct, receptor-based mechanisms, at numerous levels within the nervous system. These provide therapeutic properties that may be applicable to the treatment of neurological disorders, including anti-oxidative, neuroprotective effects, analgesia, anti-inflammatory actions, immunomodulation, modulation of glial cells and tumor growth regulation. Beyond that, the cannabinoids have also been shown to be remarkably safe with no potential for overdose."
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:
Co-director, Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA)/Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Center
Clinical Professor, School of Medicine at the University of Washington, 1994-present
Listed in Castle Connolly Medical Ltd's "America’s Top Doctors," 2007
Recipient, Excellence in Clinical Care Award, Muscular Dystrophy Association, 2002
Recipient, Excellence in Research Writing Award, Association of Academic Physiatrists, 1998
Recipient, Best Research Paper Published by a Physiatrist Award, American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Teaches residents and medical students in neuromuscular disease and electrodiagnostic clinics
Former Fellow, neuromuscular disease research
Residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Medical Center, University of California, Davis
Clinical interests are in the rehabilitation management of neuromuscular disease, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Research is funded by both the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and the National Institutes of Health in projects studying the relationship between pain and disability in neuromuscular disease