I received my undergraduate degree at Syracuse University located in Syracuse, NY and went on to complete my medical studies at SUNY Upstate Medical University in upstate, NY. My background is in the field of Pathology Medicine.
During my residency training, two required rotations got me thinking about our society’s health: gross anatomy and forensic pathology. When examining diseased ridden organs, I often wondered about the pain the patient must have gone through. My healthcare training taught me nothing about the wonderful health benefits of medical cannabis, but I was however, taught how to write massive amounts of prescription medications, which in many cases, caused more harm than good for the patient.
While researching cannabis, I learned that it has the ability to relieve pain, ease anxiety, improve sleep, and curb weight loss. Also, cannabis is wonderful for treating nausea and vomiting in patients diagnosed with cancer and/or undergoing chemotherapy.
Unfortunately, marijuana has an unwarranted stigma. As a result, physicians are reluctant to consider its’ use to treat a variety of illnesses and medical conditions. Cannabis has an excellent value when used as a medicine and therefore, I believe in empowering patients with knowledge to use marijuana safely and appropriately.
Education is key and so, during my evaluation with patients, I take the time to educate them about the risks and benefits of using marijuana, the various ingestion methods, and factors to consider when selecting a high quality, medical marijuana strain. For patients seeking an alternative option to prescription drugs, medical cannabis can provide the relief they need that’s safer and much healthier for their overall well-being.
From Roger Barnes, MD
I have been a licensed physician since 1976. I served as an anesthesiologist in the Navy, my last tour of duty was on the teaching staff at National Naval Medical Center, San Diego.
In 2005, I retired from a busy private anesthesia and pain management practice. My traditional medical training and experience did not include alternative treatment modalities, like medical marijuana.
For the last 5 years I have provided medical marijuana evaluations to over 10,000 patients in Pasadena, California. I have learned that medical marijuana is not only an effective treatment for a wide variety of conditions but also the safest medicine that I have ever recommended.
Many of my patients are seniors who have never used marijuana or not since their youth. Most of my patients have found relief from their symptoms, frequently using smoke-less marijuana.
I am committed to the California Medical Marijuana Program and to the legal protection it provides to qualified individuals.
If you are interested in determining if you qualify as a medical marijuana patient under the California Medical Marijuana program please schedule an appointment.
ASK THE DOCTOR
Will my medical insurance company cover the cost of my consultation and/or the cost of my medicine?
Unfortunately, not at this time. Medical insurance companies, do not recognize marijuana as medicine, and therefore will not cover any of the costs related to your medical marijuana evaluation or marijuana medicine costs.
Will my medical records and visit to your office be kept confidential or will I be placed on a list?
Dr. Barnes takes privacy issues very seriously. All patient records are protected by doctor-patient confidentiality. We are HIPAA complaint and protect patient privacy and never report your information to anyone without your written consent. You can rest assured that everything will remain highly confidential when visiting Roger Barnes, MD.
Once I get my medical marijuana recommendation from the physician, what do I do with it?
Once you receive your letter of recommendation, you should keep the original copy in a safe place. You may need it to prove your legal status following any encounter with law enforcement. You may also need it to obtain membership or to enter one of California’s many medical cannabis dispensaries. You should carry a photocopy of your recommendation whenever you carry your medicine. If you grow, your medicine, you should put a copy inside your grow area.
How many plants can I grow and how much am I allowed to have at any given time?
The number of plants and quantity of medicine that you can possess varies from city to city. If your city or county does not have a higher limit, you may possess eight ounces of dried cannabis, six mature plants, or up to twelve immature plants. No city or county may adopt limits lower than these. We recommend that you check SB420 for your local guide lines to ensure that you are compliant.
I’ve heard that the federal government does not recognize medical marijuana in California, is that true?
Yes, what you heard is correct. The federal government does not recognize California’s medical marijuana laws. Medical marijuana possession, cultivation, and use are illegal under federal law-even for qualified patients. The state, however, does support the use of medical marijuana as an alternative treatment and California’s medical cannabis laws remain fully in force and unaffected by this conflict.