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Ketamine / Marijuana

The Tortes and the Hare...a medical conundrum.

Recently, I posed a question to a very well established and highly regarded psychiatrist (who's name I will not share) about why Marijuana is scaling into one of the largest entrepreneurial and fastest growing businesses in the USA and a therapy like Ketamine that shows over 80% efficacy, is fast and safe is mired in red tape and fear? Listed below are some of his thoughts:

Millions of people have been exposed to marijuana. It's been accessible for decades and demystified. Despite years of propaganda against it, people were deduced into using it and discovered it was safe and could shift the mind...(who needed long term trials?)

Ketamine is still off putting associated with evil club drugs. It's associated with being high. The marijuana industry put 35 years of promoting its therapeutic use sometimes as a disingenuous legalization strategy, sometimes as authentic science. The proponents certainly knew what the potential financial upside to legalization of pot would be...and they were right!

Legislators, social conservatives, and my stodgy colleagues reflex against it. Doctor's in particular trust what we learned or what we've been upgraded through mostly mainstream educational resources. Few of us want to be cutting edge. There is a very long tradition of snake oil and non-medical promotions. We are most credible when we stay in the mainstream. Promotional initiatives for doctor's have always taken advantage of using "thought leaders" to break adoption barriers.

Doctor's are the most difficult group to influence as individuals. They are more like a herd. That is good and bad. Through my career (35 years) I've been pitched hundreds of different amazing remedies by sales people, patients, relatives and spouses. Healing is popular.

What distinguishes doctor's is a "reliable" scientific data base constructed on basic science, the first two years of med school, and heavy indoctrination about sticking with OUR brand. We all know docs who are rapid adopters who flit from one miracle cure to another, usually the retailers who sell their personal brand of vitamins or who are selling one bullshit remedy after another, who send blood samples to their special lad in Orange County "which is the only place in the country that gives accurate levels" of some ridiculous new thing. But D turns out to be baloney and but B shots are placebo.

The public demand is hard to resist though and once the herd is lead by a legitimate thought leader there is a swell of acceptance. Ketamine has not crossed that barrier but it got closer with the new APA opinion.

There you have it...straight from the horses mouth.

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