The management of illness is complicated. For some conditions we use chemicals that can be best described as poison as we attempt to kill invaders like cancer. For cancer and many chronic illnesses, it can be almost impossible to find the right interventions that help that patient endure. Providers need access to every possible tool to help decrease patient suffering.
In 2017, the General Assembly signed into law the first recommended medical cannabis program. This program limits the use of medical cannabis to a singular qualifying condition: intractable epilepsy (SB1027). The code does not allow for a licensed provider to issue written consent for the use of THC-A or cannabidiol (CBD) oil to treat any other health condition that could greatly benefit from its use and may be the best solution. The legislation that I am introducing this session, SB 795, will expand the language of this program from one qualifying condition to any condition with a licensed provider recommendation. This bill allows licensed providers, not legislators, to make the decision when CBD/THC-A oil is an appropriate treatment for a patient.
We are all aware of the opiate crisis we are combating at the state and national level. Evidence shows that the anti inflammatory properties of THC-A oil help reduce chronic pain. States that have medical cannabis laws see a 25% reduction in opiate overdose deaths.
These changes to current Virginia code will give licensed providers another tool to help treat their patients with the most appropriate and effective treatments possible. Let Doctors Decide.