The Lead

State OKs medical marijuana use for anxiety, Tourette syndrome

By: - July 11, 2019 12:17 pm

Individuals with anxiety disorders and Tourette syndrome will be eligible to join Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program starting July 20, the state Health Department said Thursday.

The two conditions now join the 21 existing diagnosis qualify for a medicinal weed prescription — including cancer, epilepsy, chronic pain and opioid use disorder in special cases.

“I do not take this decision lightly, and do have recommendations for physicians, dispensary pharmacists and patients in terms of the use of medical marijuana to treat these conditions,” Department of Health secretary Rachel Levine said in a statement. “For both conditions, medical marijuana is not first line treatment and should not replace traditional therapies but should be used in conjunction with them, when recommended by a physician.”

Levine had previously hinted that a decision was coming, but delayed an announcement to review the existing medical literature.

In the end, she cited evidence that showed marijuana with low THC and high CBD content could he helpful for those suffering from anxiety.

Currently, 111,000 patients have been certified to participate in the program, while 1,160 physicians have been approved as practitioners.

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Stephen Caruso
Stephen Caruso

Stephen Caruso is a former senior reporter with Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Before working with the Capital-Star he covered Pennsylvania state government for The PLS Reporter.