RECOMMENDING CANNABIS IN ARKANSAS
Medical cannabis may be recommended either by a doctor of medicine or a doctor of osteopathic medicine. The doctor must be licensed in the state of Arkansas and have a current certification from the DEA to prescribe controlled substances. In recommending cannabis the doctor must certify that in the physician's professional opinion the patient has a qualifying condition that can be treated with medical cannabis. The form for the Arkansas Department of Health Medical Marijuana Physician Certification is available here. The physician must review the patient's medical history and current medical condition in the course of a bona fide patient-physician relationship.
Physicians are not subject to criminal or civil penalties, including discipline from their professional licensing board solely for providing written certifications for medical cannabis. However, nothing in Arkansas law prevents a licensing board for taking action when a physician has committed malpractice.
Qualifying Medical Conditions include:
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus(HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
- Hepatitis C
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
- Tourette’s Syndrome
- Crohn's Disease
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Severe Arthritis
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Intractable pain, which is pain that has not responded to ordinary medications, treatment or surgical measures for more than six (6) months
- Severe Nausea
- Seizures, including without limitation those characteristic of epilepsy
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including without limitation those characteristic of multiple sclerosis
Medical professionals have a legal right to recommend cannabis as a treatment in any state, as protected by the First Amendment. Established by a 2004 United States Supreme Court decision to uphold earlier federal court rulings that found doctors and their patients have a fundamental Constitutional right to freely discuss treatment options.
More resources for medical professionals can be found here.
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