Georgia Doctors Are Wary of Medical Marijuana

    Pharmacist and customer with medical marijuana – stock photo / Getty

    *Medical marijuana has been available in Georgia for more than a month but some doctors are clueless on how to help a patient get access to it. 

    According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, many Georgia doctors are wary of medical cannabis because they have not been trained on how to use it, so they do not include it on the list of treatment options they consider.

    The difficulty in finding doctors who can certify medical cannabis patients was a common theme among attendees at a recent informational session at a new dispensary, AJC reports. 

    Georgia Department of Public Health requires doctors to register before they can certify patients but doesn’t disclose their identities.

    “If you don’t know about medical cannabis, you are like, ‘I’m just not going to say anything. I am just going to be cautious.’ So how do you get them in the know?” said Dr. Kelly Degraffenreid, former chair of the Medical Association of Georgia’s Medical Cannabis Task Force, per AJC.

    Medical marijuana cards have been issued to more than 27,000 Georgians. Cannabis oil has been legal in the state since 2015 for medicinal purposes, but it couldn’t be legally purchased until this year.

    Since local retail outlets are now operating, the number of cardholders is expected to rise.

    “People are using it, whether we physicians like it or not,” said Dr. Adam Perlman, director of Integrative Health and Wellbeing at the Mayo Clinic in Florida. 

    “You know, many, many Americans, people across the world, are living with chronic pain,” he said, according to AJC. “Many of the medications we use for chronic pain have side effects that make them less desirable, so people are looking for other options.”

    READ MORE: 8 Health Effects of Recreational and Medical Marijuana Use

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