Salem doctor uncomfortable prescribing medical marijuana - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Salem doctor uncomfortable prescribing medical marijuana

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SALEM, Ohio -

It will be at least a year before we know under what conditions doctors in Ohio will recommend medical marijuana and pot advocates say that's too long.

That's because the law is already in effect.

The law making medical marijuana legal in Ohio went into effect September 8th.

But according to Ohio lawmakers it could be September of 2018, two years from now, before a safe, effective medical marijuana product is available to prescribe to Ohioans.

Dr. Michael Sevilla of Salem says he's one of a number of doctors around the state uncomfortable with prescribing cannabis without knowing more about how the drug will be regulated.

"There's a lot of physicians that I talk to that they're uncomfortable with medical marijuana mainly because there's not a lot of research out there yet. There's not a lot of definitive data saying hey, we feel comfortable, we know that it's a good medicine, or we don't know that it's a good medicine. We need more research," Dr. Sevilla said.

Lawmakers say many of the rules, regulations and standards need to be outlined before anyone can be prescribed the drug.

But Doctor Sevilla says his patients are already requesting it.

"I've already had a lot of my patients ask me on the first day you know when can I get my card? I explained to them that we don't know what all the reasons are going to be. One of the things I'm very concerned about is everybody remembers Ohio's pill mill problem as far as prescribing pain medicines," Dr. Sevilla tells 21 News.

The Salem doctor says just because medical marijuana is now legal, doesn't mean physicians are obligated to prescibe it, "I'm not totally against medical marijuana, I want to make that clear. I'm just not convinced at this point, and I need more data. And I'm hoping regulators in Columbus do this the right way as far as who is going to prescribe it, who is going to grow it, who is going to distribute it, and those are the concerns that I have."

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