Why It Takes so Long to Make the Final Decision on Marijuana Use in Treating Anxiety and Autism in Ohio

Marijuana Use for Anxiety and Autism

The State Medical Board of Ohio should take into consideration the possibility of including the anxiety and autism spectrum disorder on the list of disorders for whose treatment the use of marijuana is allowed. The issue should have been resolved last month, but the decision has been delayed. The new meeting is scheduled for August 14.

The appropriate solution should be made through taking into consideration a greater number of experts’ opinions and the views of the critics, who are opposing the widening of the list. The experts from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, should have their say. Their contacting the board members just days before the decision was on the agenda has put the whole process on hold.

They are of the opinion that, as there is little solid evidence in favor of using marijuana and its products to the benefit of the patients, there is, however, credible evidence linking cannabis use to triggering or worsening a number of psychiatric disorders. Now, the experts from the Children’s Hospital have a fair chance to prove their point.

Dr. Mark Hurst will have a chance to present his set of arguments. He is an assistant director for clinical services at the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, currently serving as an interim director under Governor Mike DeWine. Gov. DeWine generally opposes recreational marijuana, being especially concerned for young people’s health and wellbeing.

At the previous meeting which happened on June 12, attended by four members of the board, the vote went against the use of marijuana for treating depression, insomnia, as well as the opioid use disorder. This put further vote on delay, although in May, a four-member committee of medical board members had already recommended that the full 12-member board approve the treatment for anxiety and autism conditions.

On that occasion, the consulted experts were in accord with giving support to treating the two conditions with marijuana, yet, they were not on the related issues concerning depression, insomnia, and the opioid use disorder.