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Board rejects plan to use medical marijuana to treat opioid addiction

Citing a lack of scientific proof, the state’s medical board on Wednesday voted against allowing doctors to recommend marijuana to treat opioid use disorder (Source: “Board rejects marijuana as treatment for depression and insomnia,” Columbus Dispatch, June 12, 2019).

Board members said they reviewed hundreds of pages of research and heard from expert witnesses but did not find conclusive evidence that cannabis can help opioid addicts manage their cravings.

“I think we’re all desperate to find a way to resolve the opiate crisis, and we’ve had a lot of communication with folks who support (using cannabis to treat opioid addiction), and we’re sympathetic to that position,” said board member Betty Montgomery. “But this is a science-based board. And the last thing we want to do is grasp at something to solve this crisis that may exacerbate it in a way that we’re not aware of because we don’t have the science behind it.”

The board also voted against allowing doctors to recommend marijuana to treat depression and insomnia and tabled a recommendation to allow medical marijuana to treat anxiety and autism in order to allow two new board members to review the recommendation.