COLUMBUS, Ohio – After listening to 80 minutes of testimony late Wednesday afternoon – this time mostly from opponents – a State Medical Board of Ohio committee rejected medical marijuana for people with anxiety and autism spectrum disorder.
The four physicians who testified against medical marijuana for the conditions said the drug offers a momentary relief from anxiety but leads to panic attacks or worsening of anxiety over the long run for some patients. They all noted that marijuana – which is difficult to legally obtain to research because the federal government classifies it as a Schedule I controlled substance, the same category as heroin – hasn’t been thoroughly vetted in the U.S. though scientific methods as pharmaceutical drugs have been. And there were concerns about marijuana’s effects on children’s developing brains and potential liver damage for children and adults.
It is the second time the committee looked at the issue.
The first time, it recommended to the full, 12-member Medical Board cannabis for the conditions. But in June, the full board decided to delay the decision, after physicians from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus said they opposed children’s use of medical marijuana.
“There are over 100 chemicals that have potential activity or psychoactivity… over 100 chemical compounds,” said Anup Patel, a doctor of pediatric neurology at Nationwide Children’s and a professor at Ohio State University. “And so for us to be able to understand what each of those 100 compounds can do, unless