Intermountain Healthcare, which manages most private hospitals in the state of Utah, told the press on Thursday that it will officially allow its doctors to issue recommendations to patients for the purchase of recently legalized medical marijuana and related products.
According to the director of the company, Mark Brisacher, the company’s hospitals will formally accept the list of diseases subject to therapy with cannabis, promising to begin issuing formal recommendations for the purchase of a plant by the end of this month.
“After lengthy negotiations with the board of directors, the board of the company decided that our clients have the full right to receive advice on treatment with therapeutic cannabis from qualified hospital personnel. According to state laws, cannabis is an officially recognized medicine that can be legally used as the main or alternative method of treating a number of chronic and serious diseases, ”Brisacher said in an interview with the local press .
According to Brisacher, the choice of hemp medicine will be faced by consumers of medical services, and not by the company’s employees. Technically, physicians cannot independently promote the use of this method of treatment, but they are obliged to provide patients with any information about this method of therapy, if they choose it as the preferred type of treatment. In this case, the attending physician will burn to provide the client with recommendations for the purchase of legal marijuana (doctors, still, will not be able to issue patients with a formal prescription for the purchase of cannabis, due to the status of cannabis at the level of federal law).
“After lengthy discussions and consultations, both with medical specialists and consumers of medical services themselves, we came to the conclusion that patients should have the full right to free choice of cannabis therapy in the case of treatment of one of the diseases listed by the state government admitted to marijuana treatment, ”
– says Brisacher.
In general, Brisacher assumes that within a year or two, the coverage of the Utah medical cannabis distribution system will be expanded several times, after the drug has been shown to be effective in practice.
“We are only taking the first steps in the field of legalization of cannabis. It is possible that with the growth of experience and knowledge of the properties of therapeutic hemp, we will soon be able to significantly expand the coverage of the cannabis distribution system, ”he notes. “In the meantime, we should focus on collecting practical data that can convince state politicians to support reforms aimed at increasing legalization.”
On the other hand, it should be noted that in the current situation, doctors are rather limited in their work with patients, due to laws restricting “the promotion of cannabis use”, according to the provisions of the recently adopted law.
“In fact, at the moment, doctors can only recommend the general use of cannabis in the treatment of certain symptoms and ailments,” notes Brisacher. “At the moment, without the availability of data confirmed in clinical conditions, physicians cannot even recommend to patients the use of specific dosages of cannabis or its extracts, since we do not know exactly their” intended positive and negative effect “on the patient’s health.”
Problems in the organization of the medical cannabis market:
Although doctors may be ready to start working with patients by the spring, state policymakers report that the formal system for importing and distributing medical cannabis will become active only by the end of this year, and only at best. Steve Urquhart, who previously held the post of senator in the Utah parliament, reports that at the moment politicians are actively working on finalizing the legalization project adopted at the beginning of the year, trying to include provisions that will suit not only the medical marijuana consumers themselves, but also various interested carrying out and blocking the reform of the population.
“The conservatives, in the face of the Mormon Church, were very reluctant to compromise with the activists on the issue of legalization, deciding to support their own project of limited legalization,” the politician said to journalists. “Since at the moment, for the most part empty by the time of adoption, the project is being actively written up, it remains to be hoped that under the pressure of physicians and patients who are already showing dissatisfaction with the next reform delays, the Utah parliament will still decide to include in its text provisions that give more freedom to doctors not regulators, ”Mr Urquaar notes.
As it should be supposed, the activists themselves, thanks to whose efforts the reform was finally formally adopted, are also extremely dissatisfied with the delays and justifications from the state parliament.
“Although the law on medical legalization was adopted by the beginning of the year, the authorities still continue to prevent people from gaining access to cannabis drugs,” said activist Christina Stenquist, who heads the Utah Citizens for Responsible Use of Medical Cannabis. “What is the point of accepting the reform, if patients, many of whom are in an extremely difficult and painful state, will have to wait another year just to be able to import hemp extracts from other regions?” It seems to me that instead of trying to resolve every aspect of the market, politicians should think about expanding the consulting powers of doctors in the issue of hemp medicine, and opening up local plant production for the market as soon as possible. ”