Many Doctors and law enforcement officials voiced their opposition to new proposed medical marijuana laws. According to them, the law is not strict enough. Some of their proposals include an approval process for the use of medical marijuana from a board of doctors. In addition, the state should request for a waiver from the federal government for using marijuana in the state for medical purposes.
The proposed regulatory measures
The marijuana doctors and patients and their supporters have decried these provisions. If these proposals get through the house and become, it will make it even more difficult for the patients to get the medical marijuana needed for their treatment.
For example, if a patient has to use marijuana for treatment, he needs to go to doctor with his medical history who will then issue him a prescription for medical marijuana after checking the patient’s condition. However, the patient then has to submit an application along with the doctor’s recommendation and prescription to a board of doctors. This board will study the case and may or may not reject the application.
Apart from this, the new proposals ask the state to apply for a waiver from the federal Drug Enforcement Agency for using medical marijuana. Marijuana is illegal according to the federal laws. It is highly unlikely that the federal government, which does not recognise the medical benefits of the weed, will allow one of the states to set up a medical marijuana industry with their permission. This will amount to a virtual ban on the medical use of marijuana in the state.
The bill takes a favourable view about the patients suffering from certain diseases whose symptoms require the use of medical marijuana. The law will allow such patients access to the drug from a state approved dispensary. They will also be allowed to grow marijuana at their home for personal use.
The anti-marijuana doctors consider the medical marijuana use as ‘an experimental treatment’ that needs to be strictly monitored. One of the recommendations asks for setting up a board consisting of three physicians to decide on the patient’s need to use the drug. The patients should further agree to be subjected to a quarterly review.
The marijuana doctors and activists oppose such measures saying this will only force many patients to scrounge the marijuana from the illegal and criminal gangs. It is now up to the lawmakers to come up with a nuanced law that addresses all these concerns.