Recreational Use of Marijuana/Cannabis by Physicians Members of Hospital Medical Staff

From the Director of Legal Affairs, Washington State Medical Association

Thank you for your inquiry. The WSMA does not have a policy specifically on the issue of physicians’ use of recreational marijuana. I have copied the existing WSMA policies on marijuana in general:

  • The WSMA supports completion of ongoing studies legislated by RCW 69.51, regarding the clinical efficacy of marijuana. (Res C-6, A-96; EC Rpt L, A-97; Res C-9, A-98)
  • The WSMA supports reclassification of marijuana’s status as a Schedule I controlled substance to a more appropriate schedule. (Res A-2, A-08)
  • The WSMA supports efforts to cease the criminal prosecution and other enforcement actions against physicians and patients acting in accordance with state medical marijuana law. (Res A-2, A-08)

That being said, the WSMA has a long-standing concerning impairment of physicians regardless of the cause. Please take a look at the information the WSMA has posted on our website regarding both medical and recreational marijuana. WSMA Medical and Recreational Marijuana. (pdf format)

In particular, you might find interesting the article by Dr. Charles Meredith, director of the Washington Physicians Health Program. While his article speaks about medical marijuana, he raises concerns about physicians’ use of marijuana, even for medical purposes.

I hope this information is helpful. Please contact me if you have questions or desire additional information.

Best regards,

Denny Maher, JD, MD

Director of Legal Affairs

Washington State Medical Association

2001 Sixth Avenue, Suite 2700

Seattle, Washington 98121