A state legalizing medical marijuana does not mean that doctors and others in the healthcare industry are 100 percent knowledgeable about cannabis. In fact, many states fail to put proper requirements or education in place for medical personnel to understand when the drug would or would not be effective at treating a patient's condition. But a new program in Massachusetts is looking to fix that.
The Massachusetts Medical Society is offering a new curriculum to doctors to teach them about medical marijuana. Those who take the course will learn about the benefits of using cannabis, proper dosing for the drug, how it interacts with other medications and how it can be used to treat the specific conditions that are allowed for its use in Massachusetts, such as cancer, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis. Right now, there are only 210 doctors in the entire state of Massachusetts who are registered to prescribe medical marijuana.
Ironically, the Massachusetts Medical Society actually opposes the legalization of marijuana for either medical or recreational use. But they said they decided to create this curriculum because as long as cannabis is part of the law, it's important that doctors are well-informed and knowledgeable when offering it to their patients.
"We're not in any way urging people to write for this," said Massachusetts Medical Society President Henry Dorkin. "But it's a fact of life that marijuana exists, it's legalized in the commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the reality is physicians need to be educated about marijuana, and they need to learn to deal with its effects on patients."
It's somewhat strange that an organization would offer a course telling doctors about how medical marijuana can help their patients while also opposing the legalization of that very same thing. But as long as it helps Massachusetts patients receive more informed medical cannabis information, it's a good thing.
(h/t Mass Live)