Virginia’s Let Doctors Decide Movement Close to Making Medical Marijuana a Reality
Virginia’s medical marijuana bill dubbed, Let Doctors Decide, needs one more House vote before it goes to Governor Ralph Northam’s desk. The unanimous vote last week in the House of Delegates shows how much the state likes the new bill and the governor has been outspoken on his support of the bill.
The Let Doctors Decide movement was sponsored by Delegate Benjamin L. Cline and when asked most Virginia officials agreed that the decision on whether medical marijuana is right for a patient should be decided by doctors. Virginia would be moving on from a very restrictive medical marijuana program to one of the most relaxed in the country.
The Virginia Senate voted unanimously Monday to pass the Joint Commission on Health Care bill SB 726, which will let Virginia doctors recommend the use of cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil for the treatment of any diagnosed condition or disease.
This comes on the heels of Friday’s unanimous passing of the companion bill, HB 1251, in the Virginia House of Delegates.
“I finally decided that I needed to advocate for the physicians being the decision makers,” said Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant, the chief patron of the Senate bill. “We, physicians, are the ones that follow the literature and know which treatments are best for different conditions. The literature on medical cannabis is going to be evolving rapidly now, and because of this, it is not a decision that should be in the hands of the legislature. Instead, it should be with physicians.”
“Honestly, until this week, I’ve always thought of it helping my patients that have breast cancer, especially the young ones that have children and have so many things to get done, but feel so terrible as they go through chemotherapy,” said Sen. Dunnavant, a doctor. “After this week, I won’t be able to forget Tamra Netzel, the patient and my constituent with multiple sclerosis that testified on behalf of this bill in committee. My niece also has MS and having the opportunity to help others in similar situations means a lot to me.”
Not only will CBD products be made available to Virginia medical marijuana patients but they will also have access to THC products as well. Rules will need to be implemented and so it may not be until next year before people will be able to access it. Are you surprised to see that Virginia has such strong support for medical marijuana?