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AZ Judge Says MMJ Should Be Considered for Parkinson’s Patients

According to a statement issued by Administrative Law Judge Dorinda Lang on May 24, the Arizona Department of Health Services wrongly denied petitioners a hearing for whether or not Parkinson’s disease should qualify a patient for the state’s medical marijuana program, the Phoenix New Times reports.

The ruling is a result of appeals made by the Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association against the DHS, which rejected several petitions last year that would have expanded the qualifying conditions list for medical cannabis in Arizona. Appeals targeted the state’s denials for patients suffering from Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases, specifically,

“In a desire for professionalism, the department has utilized a standard of proof that is higher than the rules call for,” Lang wrote in her eight-page statement.

According to Lang, state rules require only that “evidence” of the efficacy of cannabis treatment must be presented before a petition is considered — that means “any evidence,” the judge clarified. The Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association filed their appeal with two scientific studies indicating “significant” improvement in motor skills, sleep, and pain relief for Parkinson’s patients who could tolerate cannabis treatment.

“This is more than a scintilla of evidence,” said Lang.

The judge has called for a public hearing on whether or not Parkinson’s should be added to the state’s MMJ program’s list of qualifying conditions.

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