Cannabis Use Disorder in 2021: What is it?
Dr. Barry Gordon, MD, President & Chief Medical Officer, Compassionate Cannabis Clinic of Venice
It’s 2021, not 1981; which is when Dr Barry Gordon started his medical training at The Ohio State University. In his 40 years in medicine, how has the view and understanding of Cannabis USE changed? Cannabis Use Disorder dates to the taboo days of illegal “social abuse” and needs to be reevaluated as reforms move towards “Legal Adult Use”. In addition, with the emerging science and research promise, plus active clinical “boots on the ground” practices serving millions of patients, Medical Cannabis also must be viewed through a different perspective. The discussion begins with a view of the history of intoxication and euphoria itself, progresses through the history of “illegality and impairment”, and must conclude with an honest discussion on licensure and job protection concerns. Legalization or the holding of a medical card holds little meaning without the freedom to utilize the substance that is the safest and most effective for each patient. It’s time to discuss these critical concerns as the future is clearly now.
For more than three decades, Barry Gordon M.D. built a career working on the front lines of the American health care system.
After years of seeing the same faces and resurrecting the same addicts daily in Ohio emergency rooms, he thought there had to be a better way.
Today, Florida is just one of 30 states that recognize the medicinal value of marijuana for the relief of symptoms associated everything from neurological illness to chemotherapy.
Dr. Barry, as he is affectionately known, is at the forefront of the medical cannabis movement.
A 1981 graduate of the Ohio State University College of Medicine and a founding fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine, Gordon said it wasn’t until decades into his medical career that he even began hearing the words “endocannabinoid system.”
“It was my career in emergency medicine that drove me to find an alternative for my patients and research cannabis more,” Dr. Barry explained. “I like to think of my background as a bit of a social scientist. I’ve seen the dangers of alcohol and tobacco. I like to tell my patients that you can’t even compare the intoxication effects of alcohol to cannabis.”
Opportunity came knocking when Dr. Barry took an early retirement from Alliance Community Hospital in 2015 and relocated to Florida with his wife Patty. He created Florida Vacation Telehealth P.A., which eventually gave birth to the Compassionate Cannabis Clinic.
No longer tethered to a large healthcare organization, Dr. Gordon made the decision upon overwhelming passage of the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Amendment on November 8, 2016, to begin seeing and treating patients with chronic illnesses using cannabis therapy.
“Just as the overwhelming majority of voters in Florida demonstrated their belief in the many benefits of cannabis therapy, I, as a healthcare professional, am deeply committed to providing patients with an option to compassionately ease their suffering,” says Dr. Barry.
“My practical experience coupled with my own scientific research has enabled me to offer a unique approach in care to my patients. I feel a responsibility in both providing the appropriate education and allowing my patients to live a better quality of life without the harmful effects of conventional pharmaceutical prescriptions,” he added.
Dr. Barry has utilized his undergraduate degree in communications from The Ohio State University to advocate for patients before becoming the owner of the largest medical marijuana practice in Florida. He provides an unique voice and an ability to break down complex medical terminology, whether answering common medical questions or facilitating discussions on complicated ailments.
“For a number of years, I saved lives with paddles in emergency rooms. Now I am looking beyond conventional medicine for answers,” Dr. Barry explained. “I don’t encourage people who have success with conventional medicine to change their strategy; however, alternative medical options, like medicinal cannabis, need to be available for those who want and need it for relief.”
A rabid Cleveland sports fanatic, Dr. Barry will entertain almost any discussion about football, basketball, and his ultimate love – baseball. He spends his free time fishing and on the water.
Gordon, his wife Patty and dog, Tiva reside in Venice, Florida.