Although 29 states and the District of Columbia allow marijuana use for medical purposes, there is no evidence it is medicine. Obviously some of the reason for that is because it's illegal and therefore hard to study, but regardless of the past it seems odd that scholars at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis surveyed medical school deans, residents and fellows, and examined a curriculum database maintained by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and lament that medical marijuana is not being addressed in medical education.

Regardless of what politicians may write as law, marijuana is not medicine. At least not yet. Any time a single product of varying manufacture claims to cure dozens of problems, it is just a pile of anecdotes. If marijuana really helped pain then women, who comprise 60 percent of pain patients, would get prescriptions for it. Instead, 75 percent of medical marijuana prescriptions have been young men. Actual pain patients want something that works.

There survey in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, led by medical student Anastasia B. Evanoff, sent surveys to medical school curriculum deans at 172 medical schools in North America, including 31 that specialize in osteopathic medicine, and received 101 replies. Two-thirds (66.7 percent) reported that their graduates were not prepared to prescribe medical marijuana. A quarter of deans said their trainees weren't even equipped to answer questions about medical marijuana.

The researchers also surveyed 258 residents and fellows who earned their medical degrees from schools around the country before coming to Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis to complete their training. Nearly 90 percent felt they weren't prepared to prescribe medical marijuana, and 85 percent said they had not received any education about medical marijuana during their time at medical schools or in residency programs throughout the country.

Using data from the AAMC database, the researchers found that only 9 percent of medical schools had reported teaching their students about medical marijuana.

Patients and hospitals should be comforted by that. Any doctor who prescribes a placebo outside a clinical trial is getting sued. Senior author Laura Jean Bierut, MD, the Alumni Endowed Professor of Psychiatry at Washington University and a member of the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse, believes otherwise. "Medical education needs to catch up to marijuana legislation."

You read that right, an MD in academia just declared medicine needs to be a tool of politics. This is why doctors are being forced into a 'teach to the protocol' environment, with patients secondary.