LANSING, MI – A state board on Friday recommended the approval of 10 new conditions that could qualify people to use medical marijuana.
There are a set of conditions Michigan doctors can treat with medical marijuana currently, things like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Cancer and Glaucoma. Michiganders can submit petitions asking for other conditions to be added to that list.
The Medical Marihuana Review Panel, made up largely of medical professionals, is charged with making recommendations on whether to add new conditions as things to be treated with medical marijuana. Ultimately the director of the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory affairs makes the decision.
Recently the panel was presented with 22 new conditions people asked them to recommend for approval. Citizens last week testified in support of approving all the new conditions.
The panel recommended the approval of the following conditions for treatment with medical marijuana:
– Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
– spinal cord injury
– Rheumatoid Arthritis
– Inflammatory Bowel Disease
– ulcerative colitis
– Tourette’s Syndrome
– Chronic pain
But the board did not recommend approval for nine conditions people had asked to be added to the list of qualifying conditions. Those included anxiety, depression, panic attacks, schizophrenia, social anxiety disorder, brain injury, asthma, diabetes and gastric ulcer.
Board member Dr. David Crocker was in favor of allowing anxiety as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana use.
“I think if used properly and judiciously it’s very, very effective,” he said.
Dr. Jeanne Lewandowski, however, voiced concerns.
“I do not believe that this petition supports documentation and information that identifies the diagnosis of anxiety as a qualifying condition,” she said.
The board voted 4-2 to recommend the condition of Anxiety not be approved. The votes on the other conditions recommended denial were often split, as well.
On three conditions — colitis, organ transplant, and non-severe and non-chronic pain – the board deadlocked. They tabled the vote on those conditions, and chair Dr. Eden Wells said they would come back to those at a future meeting with additional board members who may be able to break a tie.
From here the recommendations head to the director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Shelly Edgerton. Per a statutory time limit she has until July 10 to make a decision on whether to approve most of the conditions the board recommended for approval and until Aug. 6 to make a decision on chronic pain.
The following conditions are already covered in the current list and can be treated with medical marijuana:
– Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
– Positive status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus
– Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
– Hepatitis C
– Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
– Crohn’s Disease
– Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
– Nail Patella, or the treatment of these conditions
– Other chronic or debilitating diseases and medical conditions or treatments that produce cachexia or Wasting Syndrome; severe and chronic pain; severe nausea; seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy; and severe and persistent muscle spasms, such as those characteristic of multiple sclerosis.