Trey Gibson

Ohio Considers Opioid Use Disorder as Qualifying Condition for Cannabis

The State Medical Board of Ohio is considering new additions to the list of conditions that qualify patients for medical cannabis and at least one doctor is campaigning for the addition of Opioid Use Disorder, The Boston Globe reports.

Dr. F. Stuart Leeds is registered to recommend cannabis through the state’s currently incomplete medical program. He’s also a strong proponent for using cannabis to fight the record number of opioid-related deaths in the state. While Dr. Leeds admits the number of studies that favor using cannabis for the condition is limited, he said he’s seen strong evidence directly from his patients.

‘‘Patients have been conducting their own self-experiments on a variety of street drugs for decades. ‘They know more about what marijuana will do for their chronic pain and addiction problems than we do.’’ — Dr. F. Stuart Leeds, in the report

Other Ohio doctors are not so sure, some citing the lack of clinical evidence. Dr. Brad Lander, who specializes in addiction medicine, said that cannabis is only a temporary patch and not a true treatment.

“Patients smoking marijuana don’t have the real motivation to do therapy to maintain long-term recovery or improve their lives,” said Lander. However, even he admitted that cannabis can be a favorable treatment for the initial withdrawal symptoms.

Ohio has had trouble rolling out its medical cannabis program in a timely fashion, though support remains strong in the state.

Meanwhile, five Ohio cities have decriminalized the possession of marijuana as of yesterday’s midterm elections: Dayton, Fremont, Norwood, Oregon, and Windham. That’s on top of the previous six: Toledo, Logan, Roseville, Bellaire, Newark and Athens.

The state Medical Board will weigh applications for new medical cannabis conditions later this year.


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