Whether you agree with it or not, thousands of Americans believe that medical marijuana is the most effective medicine for their health condition, and rely on regular access. Now a new challenge is occurring with medical marijuana patients who are entering highly regulated nursing homes.
As it turns out, many nursing homes rely on federal funding, as well as state funding, and there are questions as to whether health care providers working in the homes can legally provide or administer any forms of medical marijuana.
State laws vary, with 14 states now allowing some forms of medical marijuana use, and 8 other states where access is under consideration. Yet, even within states that allow medical marijuana, the rules about its use in nursing homes is not always clearly defined. Some states allow health care providers to dispense and dose medical marijuana, other don't, and many simply haven't broached the subject yet. As you can imagine, this leaves many elders in a position where they are having to stop taking medical marijuana, replacing their medication, or are outright rejecting their nursing homes.
Complicating the issue is federal funding. As federal law does not currently recognize marijuana in a medical capacity, nursing home administrators and lawyers are voicing concerns about not only losing funding, but being charged with participating in illegal drug actions.
There are no precise numbers of how many seniors are currently relying on medical marijuana, but this is clearly an issue that is not going away, and will be difficult to solve. Nursing homes are generally seen as an imperfect solution to begin with. Concerns are frequently brought up about the quality of care provided. Here is an opportunity for state and federal lawmakers to provide swift and clear guidelines so that administrators, elders, and their loved ones at least know where they stand and can explore options without unnecessary confusion.
Medical Marijauna Legal Tip
: Concerned about the legality of medical marijuana in your state? Visit this resource
to keep up to date on current laws.
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