Americans for Safe Access has some advice on how to have a conversation about cannabis with your physician.
Be forthright. There is nothing wrong or illegal about discussing medical cannabis with your doctor. Federal courts have ruled that the First Amendment protects doctors in discussing medical cannabis and recommending it to their patients. Doctors are accustomed to patients bringing ideas to them about treatment options and preferences, and cannabis therapeutics should be no different.
Your doctor may be unfamiliar with medical cannabis and hesitant to recommend it, so bring documentation to explain the science and support your experience. ASA has created a series of educational booklets for this very reason. Our Condition-based Booklets and other research can be found in the publications section of the website. Your doctor may not have an understanding of the local laws either. You may also consider bringing them relevant forms and website links for your state. These forms and resources are located in our “State by State: Recommending Cannabis” section for medical professionals. A primary care physician with an understanding of your medical history is the best person to consult first about medical cannabis. However, we understand that not everyone has a regular doctor, and many physicians remain unfamiliar with the medical uses of cannabis or are afraid of getting in trouble. In addition, some patients are concerned with their current health insurance company finding out about their use of medical cannabis. For these and other reasons, many patients consult one of the many doctors with a specialty practice in medical cannabis. No matter what doctor you see, here are some pointers: Understand PA’s requirements, which include the physician passing a 4-hour course and registering with the state. PA keeps a list of physicians who have passed and wish to be publicly known. Some physicians opt-out of that list, so the key thing is to ask your physician if they are qualified to recommend cannabis. The PA Department of Health does a good job keeping the most current information on their website: MedicalMarijuana.PA.GOV If your physician is qualified, they will know the process to register you with the state. Bring copies of the required paperwork and medical records. If you currently treat yourself with cannabis, be prepared to tell your doctor specifically what condition or symptoms you treat with cannabis therapeutics. Honestly, describe how long you’ve had the problem when you began treating with cannabis, the amount of cannabis you use, how often, and by what delivery method. If your regular doctor will not issue a recommendation, you may choose to visit a physician who is a medical cannabis specialist.
Information provided by Americans For Safe Access. For more information, visit https://www.safeaccessnow.org/.