The Ohio State Medical Board, on Wednesday, rejected a proposal that sought the addition of depression, insomnia and opioid addiction to the list of qualifying debilitating conditions for medical marijuana.
Furthermore, a key vote that was supposed to decide the fate of ‘anxiety’ and ‘autism’ in the state’s MM program has been postponed until two new members of the board review the 2,000 pages of scientific evidence drafted to support including the two conditions.
Only last month, an advisory committee had a meeting to consider adding the aforesaid five conditions. Medical experts tasked with presenting the evidence for adding these conditions were able to convince the committee for including anxiety and autism; however, a unanimous decision couldn’t be taken for other conditions viz. depression, opioid addiction and insomnia.
The full board will now vote on whether or not to include the three conditions; a date for the same hasn’t yet been finalized, though it can happen as soon as the board’s next meeting in July.
“I have very real concerns about this drug so it’s hard for me to even consider it for the three conditions. However, we are in no rush and are utilizing all this time to educate ourselves more through the available studies and scientific evidence,” Board President Dr. Michael Schottenstein was quoted as saying to the local media.
Over 31,000 patients are presently enrolled in Ohio’s medical marijuana program, which caters to 21 conditions including epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, glaucoma and even cancer. What’s interesting though about the state’s program is that even the general public can file petitions requesting new conditions to be added on a yearly basis.
Tiffanny Carwile, the director of activist group Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism, said that she was disappointed that the board has postponed the vote. “I hope they empathize with the thousands of lives that this (decision) affects, not just for autism and anxiety but for other people as well who will seek and get relief from medical cannabis without the cocktail of pharmaceuticals.