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Marijuana and my health in medical school

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Jose rubio

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Hello,

I am a new M1 and I am concerned about a situation that I am not sure I can present to my faculty or advisors. I have been struggling with depression, anxiety, PTSD (veteran here), and I take my meds regularly as prescribed for some time. However, I recently found out that I am eligible for a medical marijuana card in my state. The reason I found out about this was because the side effects of all the meds that I am taking are making it extra difficult for me to stay alert and awake at school and I was looking for alternatives. On the other hand, I have heard the benefits of weed and I would like to give it a try (legally), but I am afraid that they will find out later that I am a medical weed carrier and deny a residency or a hospital rotation down the line. Obviously, I would not smoke it/consume it during classes or before interacting with patients, or right before a urine test (if there are any in the future before residency applications [?]). Any thoughts? Hopefully this does not sound stupid.

Thanks in advance.
 

tick_tock400

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Whoa! Weed is a totally legit prescription! (otherwise it wouldn't be a prescription) If you're prescribed it, why do you think you'll have a problem with urine tests or residency applications? That'd be ridiculous in my opinion.
Health >>>> all else anyways

Edit: While I'm sure my above advice may apply in a variety of work cultures, I totally forgot it may not fly in medicine b/c of X, Y, and Z. I'm sorry OP :(
 
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CaliforniaDreamer

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I would disagree about it being "totally legit" considering it is still illegal federally, and the DEA is a federal organization.
 
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benjamin94559

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As pro marijuana as I am. Pot is still schedule 1 at the federal level and if you fail a drug test the medical school is perfectly within its rights to treat you the same as if you were using heroin. It could mean dismissal or it could mean having to sit in a BS class on drug abuse and probation and getting strict testing and what have you. I'm also pretty sure that if you rotate at the VA or other federal hospital a mmj card isnt gonna help you if you fail the drug test
 
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673441

Hey, I'm a big proponent of MJ taking the stress off occasionally, but a history of anxiety could be exacerbated by it. Be careful.
 
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tymont12

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I'm gonna echo what everyone else is saying. It's illegal federally so barring you hiding it on drug tests, there's no way to play it safe as a med student/resident since you need to jump through so many damn hoops, certifications, licenses and privileges to keep progressing. DEA license, Medicare payments, etc. there's a lot you could mess up by getting caught and no one is going to care that your state government made it 'okay.' It's unfortunate.

I think hiding it would be pretty hard because you never know when a rotation site, away, or HR dept may ask you for a on-the-spot drug test. I imagine there's someone within your med school you could talk to about this.
 
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NickNaylor

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Even if the prescription is legitimate and medical marijuana is allowed in your state, understand that many/most hospitals will still use a positive drug test as a cause of action to discipline you. I think there are a couple of states that have specifically addressed this with legislation. If you're going to go this route, I would strongly recommend looking very, very carefully at both your school's policies as well as the policies of any hospitals that you may be rotating at. If there are policies against its use and you still want to go this route, I would make sure that you have a very clear understanding of your institution's/hospitals' policies with respect to drug testing. Some institutions will require a drug test before you start working. Some may do random drug tests. At my medical school, we weren't tested at any point during our four years there.

You're running in a gray area, and I would be sure that you have a very, very clear understanding of your institutions' policies with respect to this. Regardless of your feelings on the matter - and despite my being a killjoy, I have absolutely zero problem with medical students and physicians using cannabis in their off time - institutions are generally less forgiving of these kinds of things if there are policies that speak to the issue.
 
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Mr Roboto

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Even if it's legal in your state, it unfortunately isn't legal on a federal level. If you were somehow convicted of a drug-related offense--say you were flying and forgot it was in your backpack--you'd lose eligibility for student loans. Not worth the risk...
 
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hamstergang

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Whoa! Weed is a totally legit prescription! (otherwise it wouldn't be a prescription)
In my state, marijuana isn't actually prescribed, it's just recommended by a doctor, and that recommendation is then used to get the pot.

Not sure if that really matters to your point, but...
 

Foot Fetish

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I wonder what percentage of doctors enjoy pot in their off time.
 

tymont12

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Nasrudin

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Firstly. You're consulting the f'ing peanut gallery for how to control your PTSD sx with weed. Stop. Rethink this approach. If you're trying to figure out the acceptability of going that route in medical culture then you're using this venue appropriately. But one of the things that you must understand about the process of psychopharm is just how difficult it is to do well and how much it's success depends on your ability to make your shrink understand your internal states and how that effects your experience in the world.

All..... All of the clinical data come from your consciousness. With some observable things and some markers of social success, which is made more clear by your clear goals. In other words its hard to measure social functioning objectively if your goal was to remain on mind numbing meds and watch daytime TV in between getting high.

With regards to weed. And it's rx use. You first need to think critically about what that means. Cannabis is a plant product. With a variety of psychoactive chemicals. Some of the cannabinoids have been demonstrated to relieve anxiety. Some have been shown to create dysphoric paranoid states in a significant number of people.

So weed. Is not one thing. Which complicates it's rx and use.

You need to have an open discussion about this with your shrink. And if that person doesn't engage energetically with you in this discussion and feel more compelled to ask outside of that sphere for psychopharm use, then maybe you need to find another one. It's a sad fact, that psychopharm and shrink-craft in general can be practiced gainfully and at abysmally low level of quality.

Cannabis is making the gradual shift from illegality to social acceptability, but you're applying for medicine. And medicine is about hierarchy, conservatism, and the the perpetual search for rebels to smash and pulverize. Do not think you can speak openly about this to them.
 
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DrBeenThere

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Don't do it. You will definitely lose your license at some point in your career.
 

byaaaaaaah23

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Also I think you can test positive on a urine drug screen up to thirty days after using marijuana. So this might not even be that much of a long-term solution depending on how often you need to take drug tests?
 

Jose rubio

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follow up question: Is there a way for medical school administration or hospital admin to find out that a resident applicant or a med student is a medical marijuana card carrier? If so, how?

thanks in advance
 
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