Virginia Legislature Approves ‘Let Doctors Decide’ MMJ Expansions

Both chambers of Virginia’s Legislature have unanimously approved a measure allowing physicians to prescribe CBD or THC-A oil for anyone who may need it, according to a News Leader report. In the Senate, the measure was championed by Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant, a doctor, who said the decision to try the oil should be between a physician and patient, rather than the Legislature.

“I finally decided that I needed to advocate for the physicians being the decision makers. We, physicians, are the ones that follow the literature and know which treatments are best for different conditions. The literature on medical cannabis is going to be evolving rapidly now, and because of this, it is not a decision that should be in the hands of the legislature. Instead, it should be with physicians.” – Dunnavant to the Leader

Jenn Michelle Pedini, executive director of Virginia NORML, said that the measure could help the state stem its opioid crisis.

“Medical cannabis laws have demonstrated significant impact on the opiate crisis. States with such laws see on average a 25 percent reduction in opioid fatalities. We are losing three Virginians every day to opioid overdose. It’s time to give doctors in the Commonwealth the ability to utilize this powerful tool in mitigating addiction and overdose.” – Pedini to the Leader

The measure vastly expands on the state’s limited medical cannabis program. Gov. Ralph Northam, also a physician, is on record supporting so-called “let doctors decide” medical cannabis laws.

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