|If passed, a new bill introduced on March 17 to the Nevada Legislature will allow veterinarians to prescribe their furry patients with medical marijuana.
Democratic Sen. Tick Segerblom, who’s sponsoring the measure that would allow pet owners to get medical marijuana for their pets if a vet certifies that the animals has an illness capable of being alleviated by the medicine, told the AP that although he’s concerned some animals may have adverse reactions, “You don’t know until you try.”
Still in its early stages, SB372 also faces several legislative hurdles before it can become law. In addition to its pot-for-pets provision, the bill would revamp Nevada’s marijuana laws. As it is now, SB372 would also require dispensary owners to have training, and would remove penalties for drivers who have marijuana in their blood.
The biggest challenge SB372 faces, though, isn’t the legislative process, but the fact that there’s a lack of empirical evidence supporting the idea that medical marijuana can help pets.
“Although there may be a place for medical marijuana in the treatment of animals, significant further research needs to be done first,” said Dr. Karen Kennedy, DVM from Guilford-Jamestown Veterinary Hospital. “I believe most practitioners have seen the toxic effects of marijuana ingestion in pets, and would be hesitant to prescribe it without the studies to show the benefits of it, and the proper dosing.”
Though the substance has yet to be a proven, effective painkiller for animals, pet owners in California are already using medical marijuana to help their pets. The hemp-based capsules contain only trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol — or THC — the psychoactive ingredient that provides the cannabis high.
“It has truly been a miracle and I don’t say that lightly,” Conway told CNBC. “I feel like I have a whole new dog. [My dog] Georgia’s happy and relaxed. She’s not in pain. It’s amazing.”
Others, though, are less certain of the efficacy of giving pets medical marijuana.
“That gives me pause, said Sen. Mark Manendo, a Democrat and animal rights activist. “Alcohol is bad, chocolate is bad for dogs.”
Pet owners in California, though, insist it works.
“If Miles was on the tramadol, he’d be in bed, and he wouldn’t be enjoying anything or eating anything, and he’d probably be dead,” a pet owner, who wished her name to be redacted, told the American Veterinary Medical Association. “I’m just really grateful we found this.”
|This year’s midterm elections brought the grand total of states that allow for legal use of marijuana for medicinal purposes up to 23, along with Washington, D.C.And with nationwide support for medical marijuana at an all-time high, voters and pro-marijuana advocates in South Dakota are pushing for their state to become the next stepping stone on the path to nationwide medical marijuana legalization.
According to a Nov. 24 Argus Leader article, about two dozen medical marijuana proponents met at the South Dakota Medical Marijuana Summit in Sioux Falls on Saturday, to discuss a plan of action for getting the medical marijuana question on the ballot in 2016’s elections.
“We had some compelling stories today that we’re going to bring to the capitol in the next legislative session and we’re going to ask the legislatures and the governor to give these patients a safe option in South Dakota,” Director of the South Dakota Compassion Emmett Reistroffer said at the summit.
Currently, the federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug under the terms of the Controlled Substances Act, meaning that medicinal marijuana is prohibited in South Dakota.
“As more and more states adopt medicinal marijuana is a helpful and safe product or treatment of a number of medical conditions, the federal position and its classification of medicinal marijuana as a schedule 1 drug becomes more and more ludicrous,” says Dr. David Imrie of the Medicinal Marijuana Association.
In states where medicinal marijuana has been made legal, anecdotal evidence proves that marijuana and its components can be used to treat a vast variety of different illnesses and ailments. These range from chronic pain, mental health concerns, seizure disorders, side effects of chemotherapy and much more.
To make its case to the South Dakota state legislature, the members of the South Dakota Family Coalition for Compassion, a pro-medical marijuana advocacy group, have begun to compile narratives from South Dakota residents who suffer from conditions that could be treated with medicinal marijuana.
The organization particularly focuses on children — as children who suffer from epilepsy see an average of 80% fewer seizures when using medicinal marijuana, according to founder Melissa Mentele.
“Medicinal marijuana is being accepted in many states because people have taken the legal risk of criminal isolation to self medicate chronic disabling conditions, and have met with more success than with pharmaceutical treatments,” says Dr. Imrie.
To work toward a spot on the 2016 ballot, the supporters who attended the Sioux Falls summit plan on soliciting House and Senate sponsors to back a medical marijuana bill for South Dakota, the Argus Leader reports.
In the spring, the group will hold a petition drive in an effort to get the 30,000 needed signatures for the ballot spot.
Do you think South Dakota voters will end up deciding the medical marijuana question in the 2016 election? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below.