Apparently American medical cannabis does not exist according to the US Health and Human Services Secretary. He made this statement while addressing a press conference earlier in March. There are naysayers who refuse to believe the marijuana plant has natural healing properties. While there is little true scientific research, or so they have us believe, anecdotal evidence of weed’s healing effects is overwhelming.
American Medical Cannabis Does Not ExistThe US Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar said there is no such thing as cannabis. This came as Ohio is about to start its medical cannabis program. He said the FDA does not condone the use of cannabis, a plant, as an alternative to using opioids for pain relief.
Follow The Big Pharmaceutical MoneyThere have been many scientific studies that say something different. But, the US federal government disagrees and ignores the research. Azar said the government’s focus is on developing pharmaceutical options to opioid painkillers. It has no intention of recognizing cannabis as an alternative. Opioid And Mental Illness Programs Instead of sinking taxpayer’s money into natural therapies, it focuses millions on pharmaceutical solutions. It ignores the will of the people and anecdotal evidence. Azar told the press conference its focus was on spending hundreds of millions of dollars. The money is for research at the National Institutes of Health as part of its commitment to the opioid and mental illness program. More than $750 million in funding will go into developing new pharmaceutical drugs to replace opioid painkillers.
Federal Government Doesn’t Recognize Cannabis As AlternativeWhile Azar’s position is technically true, the federal government does not recognize cannabis as an alternative. Instead it is a class 1 drug. It refuses to explore the scientific and anecdotal evidence of the medical benefits of cannabis.
Medical Cannabis In OhioAmerican medical cannabis does not exist but it should. From September 2018, Ohio residents will have legal access to medical cannabis. This does not include smoking weed and patients must have the recommendation of an eligible doctor. While the law comes into effect on September 8, it will take several months to open dispensaries. Ohio will permit medical cannabis in the following forms:
- cannabis inhalation through a vaporizer
- plant material
- any other forms as approved by the State Board of Pharmacy.
Approved Medical Conditions For Cannabis Use In OhioOhio medical cannabis law specifies what diseases patients can use medical cannabis for. And, a doctor has to diagnose patients with one of the following:
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Spinal cord disease or injury
- Hepatitis C
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Sickle cell anemia
- Ulcerative colitis
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Epilepsy or other seizure disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
- Pain: either chronic, severe, or intractable (difficult to manage)
- Traumatic brain injury.
- There still remains risks with when using medical marijuana and these need discussing with your doctor. You need to understand the risks so you can make informed decisions.
- Smoking or growing medical marijuana will remain illegal.
- Recreational cannabis will remain illegal.
- Patients wanting access to medical weed will need to apply to the State Board of Pharmacy. When accepted they will receive a registration card for access to cannabis products. Only doctors approved by the Ohio State Medical Board with a certificate of approval can apply on behalf of their patients for approval. The application must show the patient’s diagnosis for a condition on the approved list of medical conditions. It must also show there is a relevant doctor-patient relationship.
- Although a patient may be taking medical weed under the care of their doctor, employers can still take action. An employee breaching company policy about using cannabis can face consequences. The new Ohio law does not prevent employers from taking action even though it is legal.