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The Pennsylvania Medical Society last week said it supports medical marijuana for compassionate care and medical conditions in which no FDA-approved prescription medication is effective.

The society announced its decision last week and its 200 physician members voted to ask the state to fund research on the use of marijuana for medical purposes. The society had a three-stage debate to reach its decision, including reviews by a virtual reference committee, live reference committee and a full house of delegates.

Though there was passionate testimony from parents about the use of cannabidiol oil for children suffering from severe epileptic seizure disorders, some concerns remained among physicians over the potential harm of use and the divergent views over the credibility of current research.

Boiling Springs Family Medicine physician Dr. Chad Jumper talked about the decision and medical marijuana use in Pennsylvania.

Q: What could medical marijuana potentially treat?

A: “Medical marijuana can be used to treat a large spectrum of problems, including seizures, pain, nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, as well as symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis.”

Q: What are the concerns with using medical marijuana?

A: “Concerns with its use include regulation, side effects and potential abuse.”

Q: Where is medical marijuana use already legal?

A: “The use of medical marijuana is legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia.”

Q: Why do you think the Pennsylvania Medical Society has changed its recommendation on the use of medical marijuana?

A: “This is hard to say without witnessing the meetings that the society had. I would say that mounting evidence to the benefits and safety of medical marijuana use factored in here.”

Q: If the state funds medical trials, how long might it be until results are seen on medical marijuana’s use?

A: “Medical trials can take three years or more until results are available for analysis and can be used for medical decision making.”

Dr. Chad Jumper is a family practice physician at Boiling Springs Family Medicine and is board certified in family medicine. He is a member of the American Medical Association and the American Association of Family Practice. Check Boiling Springs Family Medicine on Twitter @DrChadJumper and on Facebook. This information is intended for educational purposes. Please consult your health care provider for advice about treatments that may affect your individual health.

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