The Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association (OPPA) was able to convince members of the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control to reverse its decision, approved last fall, to add autism and anxiety to the list of 21 medical conditions for treatment with medical marijuana, first in writing, then during expert testimony on Aug. 14, 2019 provided by OPPA Secretary, Tina Weston, MD.
In her letter to the SMBO, Victoria Kelly, MD, OPPA President stated
We have serious concerns regarding the addition of these diagnoses as indications for medical marijuana in the state of Ohio. Our organization has held the position (since 2016) that Ohio should not allow cannabis manufacturers and distributors to circumvent the rigorous process of research and FDA approval that is in place to assure the safety and efficacy of the treatments that are marketed to individuals with mental illness. Our patients deserve access to treatments that are safe, effective and well-regulated that will help and not harm them.
Following input by Dr. Weston (as identified in OPPA's letter) and three physicians from Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, the committee decided that research on the use of marijuana to treat autism and anxiety is inconclusive.
“At this point, approval seems premature,” said medical board President Michael Schottenstein, MD, who is also a member of the review committee. “There should be a consensus, and it’s clear that we don’t have that.”
The full medical board will likely vote on the recommendation at its next Board Meeting in September.