The Corner

Free Speech For Pot

A federal appeals court has ruled that doctors cannot be barred from

recommending pot to their patients. The judges held that such restrictions conflict with a doctor’s free-speech rights. “An integral component of the practice of medicine is the communication between doctor and a patient. Physicians must be able to speak frankly and openly to patients,” Chief Circuit Judge Mary Schroeder said. That’s cool, I guess. But isn’t this true about a lot of other professions as well? What about the world of financial planning. My broker cannot give me “inside information” without losing her license or even going to jail.  Isn’t it an “integral component” to the practice of financial planning to speak “frankly and

openly” to clients? Of course, medicine and investing are different but that

doesn’t necessarily mean one is always more important than the other. A

doctor is free to recommend ganja for my headaches but a financial planner

isn’t allowed to give me information that would permit me to pay for my

wife’s heart-transplant.

Also, despite what the propagandists say, medically prescribed pot is not

always a medical necessity. Sometimes — though not always — doctors

prescribe pot because their customers (i.e. patients) want to get pot when

other drugs would be more effective. In other words, the court understands

that free speech in a doctor’s office isn’t always about medical needs,

sometimes it’s just about bidness, and yet the Doc’s free speech rights are

still absolute.

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