Nearly every major hospital in northeast Ohio has come out against medical marijuana. Yet most have at least one doctor interested in the drug to treat everything from intractable seizures in children to end-of-life comfort for terminally ill cancer patients.
An estimated 80 percent of doctors certified to recommend marijuana in Ohio are not fully participating. Some just signed on to keep up on the regulations around the controversial drug. Concerned about drug abuse, others are turning away new patients seeking cannabinoids.
Ohio is among 23 states now permitting medical marijuana with a doctor’s consent; 10 states allow recreational use. Ohio’s physicians are in the common “Catch 22” of considering a new state-approved treatment beset by lingering stigmas and hindered by insurance companies and hospitals, which take their cues from federal regulators who in 1970 put marijuana, once prescribed freely a century ago, in a category of the most dangerous drugs.