Undated_18 states across the US have already said yes to medicinal marijuana. Oklahoma could be next.
State Senator Constance Johnson has filed a bill to establish a medical marijuana program in the state. The bill is one of many that may be considered when the legislature convenes in February.
Marijuana has some medicinal value. It helps cure nausea and acts as an appetite stimulant.
Doctors have known this for nearly two decades. But, Dr. Maria Moore, a local oncologist, says cancer patients don't like the effects. She says she's surprised this bill is being pushed so hard.
"They actually tested it in acute leukemic patients. They figured, well, maybe old people won't like to get high, but let's get young patients with leukemia, they may like to get high. So, they did studies and gave marijuana to help control nausea and acute leukemia and that study also proved to backfire," Dr. Moore said.
THC components in pill form have been used in hospitals for a couple years now. This bill proposes the legalization of medicinal marijuana in cigarette form. Dr. Moore has her concerns.
"We cannot assume that this cigarette is safer than tobacco, and I think that's an unsafe assumption. So it's hard for me to recommend to a patient to breathe anything into their lungs. I think that if a patient wants this medicine, they're having nausea and there's a
legitimate reason and they want to try it, that's fine. My preference would be to go with the pill," said Dr. Moore.
Dr. Moore says while there are healing elements in marijuana, they aren't ones that you couldn't find in another drug--ones without the psychedelic side effects.
"Most of my oncology patients, my blood patients, do not like to feel out of control. Most of them want to be able to remain with as many of their functioning faculties as possible and so what they would like is for me to manage their symptoms in the way that allows them to function as normally as possible, and that means obviously thinking clearly."
If this bill passes, medicinal marijuana will always be regulated and controlled. Also, having a prescription would not mean you could purchase marijuana illegally off the streets.