A medical marijuana program is only as good as the rules that qualify a patient to enroll. That’s why compassionate doctors have been so important to medical marijuana programs across the country. Every state in America could have a medical marijuana program, but if no doctors would approve patients, the programs would never get off the ground. Expanding who can approve medical marijuana patients is the next step in improving medical marijuana programs.
Very soon in Maine, nurse practitioners will be allowed to approve medical marijuana patients. This will dramatically increase the amount of medical personnel that a potential or re-qualifying patient can visit for approval. Per WMTW:
“I think for patients this is very important. This is going to expand access. We know that many, many patients in Maine are using a nurse practitioner as their primary care physician. Nps are already allowed to prescribe if they choose to do so and so it makes sense to add this to the list of capabilities that they have,” said Becky DeKeuster, director of the Wellness Connection of Maine.
I hope more states make changes to their existing programs to allow nurse practitioners to approve medical marijuana patients. This will be very helpful for people that use nurse practitioners for primary care, which is very common in rural areas. Marijuana is medicine, and if it helps a patient, the patient shouldn’t have to rely on the only doctor in town to get approval, especially if the doctor is unsympathetic towards medical marijuana.