Depression by Anonymous

I live about 60 miles northwest of Chicago, near the Wisconsin-Illinois border. About 5 months ago I asked my psychiatrist about the possibility of using Marinol to help treat the severe, chronic, clinical depression that I have suffered from for 30 years. I have used 'street' marijuana and it helps tremendously. I say 'helps' because I also need prescription antidepressants. In my case the marihuana alone would do more harm than good (I know because I've tried it).

But acquiring street marihuana puts me in harm’s way and makes me feel guilty because I am an otherwise law-abiding citizen. Plus, I am in my 40's now, and it is getting close to impossible for me to find a source. My doctor responded by saying he needed to see more research. Almost immediately I began searching the Internet and asking other people about existing research regarding the use of marihuana and Marinol to treat clinical depression. My best source was your excellent book "Marihuana: The Forbidden Medicine". There were stories in that book that sounded exactly like my situation. I bought the book at Amazon, and when it arrived I began highlighting the parts about Marinol being prescribed for depression.

A couple weeks ago I brought the highlighted book and some other research to a session with my doctor. I told him that I had found some excellent evidence that Marinol has been used successfully to treat clinical depression. I pulled out your book, and when I tried to show him some of the information I highlighted he recoiled and didn't even want to touch the book. He said "You are going to get us both arrested!". I replied by saying, "Marinol has been moved from DEA schedule 2 to schedule 3, so it is less restricted. My research shows that Marinol is currently being prescribed to treat depression by doctors all over the country". He said that he didn't want to risk his job and career. I asked, "What about your Hippocratic oath?” to which he replied "It first says 'Do no harm.'" "Boy, law enforcement really has you doctors intimidated into not prescribing medicine to patients who really need it" I said. He claimed that in Illinois it is only legal to prescribe Marinol for nausea.

Do you know if this is true? Meanwhile, what is a patient to do who wants to try Marinol? I could move out West to a state where medical marihuana is legal (since doctors seem afraid to prescribe Marinol), but I can't just rip my family away from their friends and family. Would you be able to refer me to any doctors in Illinois that aren't afraid to prescribe Marinol for clinical depression? Thank you for your time and the work you've done to bring the issue of medical marihuana into the mainstream. Best Regards, Ill in Illinois.

 Editors’ Note:  Any well informed physician should know that Marinol (dronabinol) as a Schedule 3 drug may be prescribed as he or she sees fit.