June 25 – “Or any other serious medical condition where the doctor believes the patient could benefit from the use of medicinal cannabis.”
The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Advisory Board voted 7 to 4 Thursday to recommend adding the above language to the end of the list of medical conditions for which doctors can issue medical cannabis use certificates.
If approved by lawmakers, the change would relax the legal language, which currently lists 15 specific diagnoses – one of which is “terminally ill” for which medical cannabis could be made available.
“Again, this would be a recommendation. We are not changing the law. This is just to bring the discussion into lawmakers,” Jesse Forbes said before voting for the recommendation.
“Our role should be to give recommendations to lawmakers to look at these things. We can’t change the law. The DHHR cannot change the list that is specific to these conditions, or they want to start the discussion and formulate specific legal language that would allow a doctor to treat his patient without waiting for a change in the law. “
Dr. James Berry was the most vocal opponent of the proposal, arguing that it would be premature to relax restrictions before the first medical cannabis in the state was even issued.
“I think we need to keep this at the forefront of our priorities. First of all, don’t hurt,” he said, noting that improved access shouldn’t be a focus, especially if it is being sold as “medical”.
“We name this drug and then we need to be able to justify why we call it medicine, and we have to take the same precautions as any other drug. In fact, we have a list of diseases for which there is at least some evidence.” , and then look at, OK, what are the dosages, the frequencies, the length of time you can use a product like any other drug? “
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Suggested that Berry let the program run as it is and then, when warranted, relax the restrictions based on evidence, adding, “It will be a lot harder to close and streamline after things have been opened. “
Others argued that medical cannabis, which was legalized in the state in April 2017, is already moving too slowly and is too restrictive.
“Patients still don’t have access. I’ve talked to people who are dead. They died before they had access to legal medical cannabis, ”said Rusty Williams. “I just think that if we go slower, we won’t have a medical cannabis program. The recovery will take place across the country before we open the first door of the medical cannabis dispensary when we step on the brakes even harder. “