Members of the local medical fraternity have been described as cowards and hypocrites by attorney-at-law Douglas Trotman over the issue of medical marijuana.
Clearly still upset that they had not facilitated cannabis treatment for his ailing wife, Kathy-Anne, who lost her battle with cancer earlier this year, Trotman laced into the doctors last night during a public forum on medical marijuana at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
He said with the exception of one medical practitioner, it was cowardice by some that got in the way of Kathy-Anne getting the treatment she needed, and accused them of hypocrisy for now seeking profit from Government’s announced intention to pursue medical marijuana production.
And the angry widower said he would not let them forget, and intended to make them pay.
“It was only Dr Hartley Mosely, who, when my wife Kathy-Anne reached stage four cancer, gave me a prescription for morphine and another for cannabis. He was one doctor in Barbados that was brave enough,” Trotman told those gathered for the event hosted by the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP).
“What is happening now, everybody is jumping on the bandwagon because it’s an opportunity to make some money, maybe start a new direction in your practice, but I am not going to sit and watch you fool people. That ain’t happening. Anybody who knows me knows that ain’t going to happen and if I got to sue anybody I will do it for free. I want you all to remember that. Those who I sat in with as my wife was a patient, I want you to remember that,” he warned.
Douglas had spoken emotively about the matter in the past, as he watched his wife suffer from triple negative breast cancer.
Having written to the Ministry of Health in January 2016, seeking a licence to allow a pharmacist to “import, produce and supply” marijuana for medical purposes based on a prescription obtained from a doctor in Canada, the attorney told a panel discussion on ganja in May 2016 the laws of Barbados had made provisions for marijuana to be used on a permit granted by the minister.
“It [marijuana] can be used for veterinary purposes, there’s permission for it to be used in hospital administered by nurses. So the issue of possession is a problem but not so if the minister sanctions it,” he told the panel discussion organized by the University of the West Indies, and at which consultant psychiatrist Dr Ermine Belle had said while she could not ignore the associated negatives, it was also time for the country to embrace new methods of medical treatment.
A seemingly bitter Trotman repeated that position last night, telling the gathering he was in possession of an import licence for cannabis, which he said was signed by Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Anton Best as the representative for the Minister of Health, and a civil servant working in the drug service, whom he did not name.
“Barbados has signed onto the conventions [to make marijuana illegal] but for medical and scientific purposes marijuana could be used. We tried in this country to get doctors [to prescribe it for us]. We showed them the laws and the problem was that doctors felt as if they issued a prescription for marijuana their colleagues would look down upon them,” he said.
An already peeved Trotman was further angered by BAMP President Dr Abdon Dasilva, who said while there was scientific evidence to show that marijuana was effective in fighting cancer, the research was limited to rats.
Trotman fought back by accusing Da Silva and other members of the medical field of feeding the public misinformation.
“It is wrong for anybody to give a presentation which says that marijuana has been only tried on rats. That is not true. A lot of that is erroneous and I am glad it is recorded because when you are coming to the public next time, prepare yourself. People aren’t fools and we who have suffered will always remember,” he stressed.
An undated report on the medical website, WebMD, states there is a large body of personal stories dating from 5,000 years ago, about the therapeutic value of marijuana.
It says the chemicals in marijuana can help treat some conditions, including helping to manage pain, reducing muscle spasms in MS patients, work as an appetite stimulant, and as an alternative drug for brain disorders such as schizophrenia and Tourette’s syndrome.