Oklahoma Doctors to Doubt Medical Marijuana Rules
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Enthusiasm for Oklahoma’s medical marijuana laws could be tempered by hesitant doctors who will be responsible for recommending the drug to patients.
Two medical professionals told a legislative working group Wednesday that they want stricter medical marijuana regulations in the state. But nearly a dozen residents responded to the comments by saying the physicians aren’t knowledgeable about the benefits of cannabis.
The state Board of Health initially adopted strict rules July 10 after voters legalized medical marijuana by passing State Question 788. The board revised the rules Aug. 1 following an attorney general’s opinion saying the board overstepped its authority .
Doctors are legally restricted from having discussions with patients about medical marijuana because the drug remains a Schedule I substance under federal law, said Mike Mullins, an anesthesiologist.
But a federal appeals court ruled more than 15 years ago that it is unlawful to punish medical professionals for simply discussing the risks and benefits of marijuana with patients, said patient advocate Lawrence Pasternack.
The doctors also faced pushback from Republican Rep. Jon Echols, the working group’s co-chair. Echols wrote Katie’s and Cayman’s Law, which authorized a medical pilot program using cannabidiol for patients with certain illnesses who are under physicians’ care. Echols said cannabidiol was under the same federal classification when his bill became law as marijuana is right now.
Pasternack called for both doctors and lawmakers to adequately research cannabis.
(Sweedsy in no way encourages illegal activity and would like to remind its readers that marijuana usage continues to be an offense under Federal Law, regardless of state marijuana laws. To learn more, click here.)