Be wary of “prescribing” medical marijuana, CMA warns

Canadian physicians should be wary of “prescribing” medical marijuana under new regulations that come into effect on Apr. 1, 2014, says the president of the Canadian Medical Association.

“For the CMA, nothing has really changed,” says Dr. Hugo Francescutti. “Our stand has always been that there is insufficient scientific evidence to support the use of marijuana for clinical purposes.”

In addition, he says, the regulatory colleges have indicated that they have concerns about patient safety and will be keeping a close eye on doctors who do “prescribe” the drug. “They are telling us to tread very gently. So if you are about to authorize access to marijuana you better really have the evidence that shows that it has some beneficial impact for your patient, because if something untoward happens you will be held to quite a high standard.” Read more in CMAJ.