From Opposition to Medical Cannabis Education
When Massachusetts legalized medical cannabis in 2012, the Massachusetts Medical Society openly opposed the move, citing potential health risks and a lack of scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of medical cannabis.
Since 2012, the MMS hasn’t become an advocate for medical cannabis; however, it has embraced medical cannabis education as a means of closing a knowledge gap in the medical community. On July 24, 2017, the MMS announced that it has partnered with TheAnswerPage.com to offer the Comprehensive Cannabis Curriculum, an online course for doctors and healthcare providers to learn about the endocannabinoid system, consumption methods, dosing, contraindications, drug interactions, metabolism and the role of medical cannabis in treating specific diseases, among other medical topics.
“With legalization of both medical marijuana and recreational marijuana growing in states across the U.S., it is imperative that physicians be prepared to answer questions about marijuana use and to counsel their patients about any potential impact of cannabis,” said Dr. Henry L. Dorkin, President of the Massachusetts Medical Society, in a press release.
“The Comprehensive Cannabis Curriculum is neither an endorsement of the usage of cannabinoid medications by the Massachusetts Medical Society nor a recommendation to impede healthcare professionals from considering utilization of medical cannabis,” Dorkin explained. “We are confident that the curriculum, which was subject to multiple layers of expert review, will provide the data needed to facilitate (between patients and their healthcare providers) informed, balanced, transparent and important conversations, based upon the strongest and most comprehensive research available at present.”
As of May 31, the Massachusetts medical cannabis program had 193 registered physicians. With physicians required to complete a minimum of 2.0 Category 1
continuing medical education credits on medical cannabis before being allowed to certify patients, the efforts of the MMS to close the knowledge gap could encourage more doctors in Massachusetts to complete the state’s medical cannabis education requirement and register with the state’s medical cannabis program.