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August 9, 2016

Medical Board Expectations for Physicians Recommending Marijuana

Author Affiliations
  • 1Federation of State Medical Boards, Euless, Texas
  • 2Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York
JAMA. 2016;316(6):577-578. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.7741

Heightened public interest in marijuana and marijuana-infused products for medicinal and recreational purposes led the nation’s state medical and osteopathic boards recently to issue recommendations about marijuana in patient care and a cautionary note advising actively licensed physicians to abstain from using marijuana while practicing medicine.1 This is the first time that the dispensing or use of products derived from the Cannabis sativa plant have been highlighted in a policy recommendation of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), whose members include 70 state and territorial medical licensing boards of the United States. We examine the dilemma of physicians caught between increasingly permissive local statutes and prohibitive federal regulations and summarize 10 recommendations about marijuana for patient care from the agencies authorized by statute to protect the health and welfare of the public through the licensure and discipline of physicians and other health care professionals.

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