New Brunswick — Federal legislation has made it much easier for sufferers of chronic pain to access or grow medical marijuana at home, but many New Brunswick physicians are urging patients to continue their lifelong addiction to more powerful — and much more pricey — opioids.
“If it’s not written on a prescription pad, it’s not safe,” said Riverview physician Harold LeBlanc, seated in front of several photos of his family of 10 on their yacht. “And if I have written it down, you know it’s probably good for you. Yes, I’ve heard a lot of talk about medical marijuana these days, about how easy it is to get and how the laws surrounding it are slackening, but what ever happened to just taking my word for it?”
Dr. LeBlanc said he’s prescribed Dilaudid, Oxycodone, Vicodin, morphine, codeine and a whole variety of mostly synthetic and mostly expensive drugs to help his patients. “But marijuana? Never. It’s too variable. I’d rather they get really great morphine from me and develop an addiction that requires monthly visits and endless refills than to grow a plant that could have any number of repercussions.
“How do you know you’re going to get a calming, soothing effect and not a light buzz as from caffeine? Better to nip these doubts in the ‘bud,’ so to speak, and keep coming here where I’ll listen to you for a second and diagnose you with something serious.
“And don’t come in to my office with your pathetic Internet ‘research.'” he ranted. “If you tell me what condition you think you have, and what medication you think you need, that’s insulting to the years I spent in med school. Do that, and I will specifically not give you those medications, nor entertain anything close to that condition.”
Avira Monteith, one of Dr. LeBlanc’s patients, said that she is hopeful she can convince him to prescribe the newer, cheaper alternative. “He’ll never give me the generic options for pain-killers, so I think he’s getting a kick-back from prescribing name-brand meds. That said, he’s also obsessed with being ‘in vogue,’ so maybe that will motivate him to prescribe medical marijuana?”
“Not likely,” said Dr. LeBlanc, writing illegibly in his pad.
Our reporter was overjoyed to get a generous prescription for Percocet with no refills at a weekly cost of only $342 after health insurance discounts.