I know we’ve got a lot of veterans here, and this one is really going to make your head explode…
In a debate on the House floor over the Department of Veterans Affairsâ€™ policies on medical marijuana, Representative John Fleming (R-LA) warned colleagues that allowing veterans to smoke pot could turn them psychotic or schizophrenic.
â€œAs a practicing physician and a veteran myself,â€ Fleming stated during the April 29 legislative proceedings, â€œthe way we approach health care is not to just allow any healthcare provider to do whatever he or she wants to do at the time. That is simply not the way health care works.â€
According to Fleming, letting doctors and patients make their own decisions about marijuana could be dangerous, which is why the federal government needs to step in.
â€œSmoking pot increases psychotic episodes by a factor of two to four times normal,â€ Fleming elaborates. â€œThe conversion to schizophrenia, a permanent mental disorder, is enhanced by pot by a factor of two â€” double. Why in the world would we give a drug that is addictive, that is prohibited under Schedule I, that is not accepted for any specific mental disease or disorder and enhances psychosis and schizophrenia, why are we going to give that to our veterans, especially those with PTSD? That is just absolutely insane.â€
Even forgetting about the fact that he’s mixing up correlation with causation in the whole psychotic episodes and schizophrenia discussion, or the fact that a factor of two is really quite small… The part that is really mind-boggling is his notion that federal legislators are more competent to decide on medical treatment than doctors and patients.
Maybe veterans should start asking Representative John Fleming for advice on cancer treatment, what to do about hemorrhoids, and how to fix their hernia. After all, “letting doctors and patients make their own decisions… could be dangerous.”