Prescribing Marijuana Poses New Questions For Doctors

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Jars containing various strands of medical marijuana sit behind a display case at the River Rock Medical Marijuana Center in Denver, Colorado. There are 20 states in the U.S. with medical marijuana programs. (Anthony Souffle/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

Meeting for the first time since regulations for the medical marijuana program were enacted, the state’s six-member Board of Physicians began working out the details of an entirely new system Wednesday.

Without the guidance of the U.S. Federal Drug Administration, the state is on its own when it comes to figuring out certain details governing the use of marijuana as a medication. For instance: How will patients be informed about the possible side effects of marijuana use and whether it has contradictions with other medications? How will the state collect data on those effects?

“There’s a lot of stuff to do,” said William Rubenstein, commissioner of the of the state Department of Consumer Protection, which oversees the program.

All prescription medications receive approval from the FDA, but because marijuana is not federally approved for medicinal use, there are no FDA-approved studies of its effects.

Click here to read the full story by Courant reporter William Weir on

By Willam Weir, Hartford Courant

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