"Don't bogart that joint my friend, pass it over to me"
and with that, appropriately enough, the Rotary Club of Guam welcomed Dr. Chris Dombrowski to speak before its membership on a topic so familiar --Medicial marijuana.
He hasn't talked about the subject for over a decade and hasn't written about it over 8 years. In fact the last time Dombrowski was most vocal about the subject was when he was running for office and made it a platform in his campaign.
"When I ran for senator in 2000, my plan was this. My plan was to allow for the University of Guam and Department of Agriculture to study, grow, market, the hell out of it and split the profits between UOG and GMH" the doctor declared.
It was during that same time when he was running for office when Dombrowski infamously pulled out a joint live on the air during a meet-the-candidates-interview on KUAM.Today at the rotary, no joint in hand mind you, he spoke about his first experience with marijuana, at the age of 9, and how he used it during college and medical school.
"By stopping alcohol and smoking marijuana, my GPA went from 2.8 to 3.8. I hit the dean's list and the president's list every semester thereafter" Dombrowski reminisced.
But medically speaking, Dombrowski says as a family practitioner, close to 15-percent of his patients would do well on medical cannabis. He adds, if legal, he could use cannabis the same way other physicians use xanax, valium or prozac to help in medicating ways such as a anti-anxiety agent, an anti-depressant and insomnia. He says what scares most physicians is the titration of the drug or the amount of dosage.
"But at the same time, smoking it, you can always just take two tokes, hold off, see how you feel, wait half an hour, take two more tokes and titrate it yourself" Dombrowski rationalized.
Of course, Dombrowski says he's aware of some of the setbacks in legalizing medicinal marijuana on Guam such as driving under the influence -- something he's noticed has been a problem in the states of Washington and Colorado which recently legalized the use of it. He says since cannabis is a fat soluble, it normally doesn't clear your system for a week.
Dombrowski in the meantime aimed to focus on the positive saying one the reasons cannabis worked so well is because of the receptors in our brains that everyone needs to get filled whether its through exploration, experimental or self-medicating. He further states he doesn't believe anyone ever really uses cannabis for recreational use but rather its all used for self-medicating purposes. Ultimately he says, cannabis doesn't breed violence but rather harmony and friendship.
"But i think marijuana, cannabis can be used for our advantage especially when you see the way alcohol is used in this island and all the damage and pathology has shown to do" he exclaimed.
Dombrowski meanwhile did not make any reference to senator Tina Muna Barnes's resolution 201 which calls for the decriminalization of cannabis that received over 200 comments since its public hearing last week. The debate has just begun as the rotary club will continue the topic next week on Sept. 26 when retired judge Peter Siguenza and Dr. Thomas Shieh will debate the legalization of marijuana.