Click to discover the requirements for recommending cannabis
Click to learn the steps to qualifying and certifying a patient for medical marijuana
Click to read about the research supporting the use of marijuana as medicine
Click to learn the history of medical marijuana and the Illinois approach of treating patients
The following information is not intended to serve as legal advice. This is merely an overview of the precedent existing in specific states and jurisdiction across the United States.
In 1996, beginning with California’s Compassionate Use Act, 23 states and the District of Columbia now have laws that allow patients safe and legal access to medicinal cannabis. After California voted for and passed the use of legal marijuana, federal officials attempted to take away the physicians right to recommend the use of medicinal cannabis for patients.
A lawsuit was filed by a Dr. Marcus Conant arguing that the federal attempts to silence doctor’s discussing the medical advantages of cannabis was in violation of the First Amendment. There were a series of appeals made, but in every case the courts concurred with the statement of Dr. Conant and the rights of physicians to recommend medical cannabis to their patients stayed in effect.
So what does this mean for patients investigating the use of cannabis through physicians and primary care doctors? A doctor is allowed to discuss the merits of cannabis as a medicine. The doctor is also allowed to give oral or written recommendations that the patient try cannabis. A doctor cannot under any circumstances provide a patient with cannabis or a prescription for cannabis.
In Illinois a doctor must be involved in an official physician-patient relationship, classified as involving an intent for ongoing-care, to be able to be allowed to recommend medicinal cannabis. This is in accordance with the state pilot program passed August 2013. The Physicians Code of Ethics pertaining to medicinal cannabis include: