Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2019 - 26

M e d i c a l r e c o r d f e at u r e

"Two Years of
Medical Marijuana:
WHERE ARE WE?"
by Lee Radosh, MD
Addiction Medicine, Reading Hospital

"Legalized marijuana ok with Berks Forum."
"Reading getting new drug abuse recovery center."

T

advisory-board-supports-making-anxiety-disorders-approved-conditionfor-pa/article_8e53077c-2a2b-11e9-a2b7-3f81cf5da81d.html). In
fact, anxiety and Tourette's syndrome will probably be added soon.
Currently, the list of serious medical conditions includes:

hese were titles of articles in the Reading Eagle April 10, 2019.
A colleague pointed out how these articles sat side by side at
the top of the front page: the contradiction is striking. Is
marijuana the answer to problems such as our opioid crisis? Will
medical marijuana - let alone recreational - create new problems?

* Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf declared "Medical marijuana is
now available in the state of Pennsylvania to those patients with a valid
medical marijuana ID card" February 15, 2018 (https://www.governor.
pa.gov/newsroom/governor-wolf-offers-thanks-medical-marijuananow-available-pennsylvania/). What has happened since then? Have
the last 2 ½ years seen changes in how we practice medicine related
to this? This article will provide a background, updated statistics, and
perspectives from local practicing physicians.

* Damage to the nervous tissue of the central nervous system, if
certain conditions are met

First, a refresher - the Pennsylvania Senate passed Senate Bill 3 in
April 2016 (https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/governor-wolfsigns-medical-marijuana-legalization-bill-into-law/). This described
how patients get approved to take medical marijuana and how they can
obtain it. The law also delineated regulations for so-called dispensaries.
Also, it made clear that physicians do not prescribe medical marijuana.
After completing training and obtaining state certification, physicians
simply verify that a patient has a "serious medical condition" which,
according to the state law, could possibly benefit from medical marijuana.
With that verification, the patient can get a "card," go to a dispensary,
and speak with the staff. It is the staff at the dispensary who - based
on the diagnoses and patient information - determine which type of
marijuana to give to the patient, how often to take, etc.
Pennsylvania's Medical Marijuana Advisory Board in December 2018 developed a process whereby doctors can petition for
medical conditions to be changed, reduced, or added to the list
of approved conditions (https://lancasteronline.com/news/local/
26

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www.berkscms.org

* Autism
* Cancer, including remission therapy
* Crohn's disease

* Dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders*
* Epilepsy
* Glaucoma
* HIV / AIDS
* Huntington's disease
* Inflammatory bowel disease
* Intractable seizures
* Multiple sclerosis
* Neurodegenerative diseases*
* Neuropathies
* Opioid use disorder, if certain conditions are met*
* Parkinson's disease
* Post-traumatic stress disorder
* Severe chronic or intractable pain
* Sickle cell anemia
* Terminal illness*
*Denotes conditions added in April 2018 to the original list


http://www.berkscms.org

Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2019

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