Fears Of Ohio Physicians & Why They Won’t Risk Recommending Medical Marijuana To Patients Just Yet

Ohio doctors are not ready to take the risk just yet to recommend Medical Marijuana to patients in Ohio (Part 1)

Today we met with a physician, to gather an idea of the fear’s and concerns that Ohio doctor’s face with medical marijuana. The fear isn’t just with the medical board and risks of loosing their license, as previously thought.

They see liability and insurance concerns to be at the top of the list. The problem is most doctor’s are within a group or hospital, which mean their malpractice insurance is covered by that group, such as hospitals, clinics, etc.  However, knowing that most private practices are of the dinosaur age, finding a physician that is willing to leave their group, is and will be a task, considering they no longer have the same insurance protection and will need to pay out of pocket for their own malpractice insurance. The costs of this can easily start at $30,000. Which is why private practice is being pushed out in the first place.

The “unknown” liability aspects are of major concern, example if your patients is using medical cannabis, within the legalities of HB 523, and the patient drives while being under the influence of prescription medications, including recommended cannabis, is it possible that legal action can be taken against the “recommending physician”.

In addition, some medical professionals are under the assumption that they aren’t just writing recommendations, but their impression without legal representation, is they are writing a prescription for the individual patients and have no knowledge of what strains or CBD & THC content needed, for specific diseases outlined on the house bill.

He also, mentioned that most physicians have not researched the potentially uses and possible dangers associated, and it isn’t that they don’t see potential, but from a medical standpoint, there simply isn’t enough United States backing research.

It appears the “unknowns” are the cause of majority of licensed doctor’s to not want to be the first to take that leap, even with knowing, that immunity as outlined in HB 523, provides protection of liabilities.

Another issue is, the overall unknowns coming from the committee, what changes might take place, how will those changes effect certified recommending physicians, and what happens when those changes are made. In short how will this effect my future as an Ohio state licensed medical doctor, and how can I maintain my patients needs, if changes will be implemented, down the road.

As, he stated this is just the beginning, and physician’s and patient’s need to know understand the road is long, and as seen in other legal states, it leaves out those who cannot afford the medical marijuana needs, and veteran’s are still left out, when it comes to using the V.A. for their medical needs.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this deeper look into what’s holding physicians back.

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