Medical marijuana a complicated issue

Just a few years ago in North Dakota when the medical marijuana issue became a serious one with state voters, Minot Daily News in an editorial officially opposed the measure. Officially our position was that the community had enough drugs saturating it and then even if the majority of medical patients were perfectly legitimate, it would still introduce more narcotics into a community.

This was despite numerous conversations with reader phone calls and emails in support of the idea.

Ironically, the majority of comments made directly to MDN were from seniors looking for relief from pain and other circumstances.

Despite public approval of medical cannabis, and the state’s effort to institute the voter-mandated policy, the process remains complicated for medical institutions and individual physicians.

House Bill 1283 removed a line that required a physician’s professional opinion that the patient will “receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the medical use of marijuana to treat or alleviate the applicant’s debilitating medical condition.”

That’s a tough term to define for medical professionals and it makes some wary – because there has been strangely (to advocates) little research completed on the potential medical benefits of marijuana use.

Medical institutions around the country as this issue spreads vary on their perspectives.

It is not an easy issue, despite legality, because of the ethical and professional opinions of medical professionals.

Supporters should anticipate any such complications. 1

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