Ammonoosuc Community Health Services, Inc.

Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana continues to be a topic of conversation and controversy.

Medical MarijuanaAugust 06 2016 - Press Release

 

WHERE DOES ACHS STAND AMIDST THE CONTROVERSY?

ACHS is a federally qualified health center and, as such, receives federal funding to assist with patient care. Marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Therefore, ACHS cannot participate in the prescription of medical marijuana even though it has been approved by the State of New Hampshire. To do so would put federal funding that assists so many patients receiving healthcare at risk.

RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH MARIJUANA USE

  • Carcinogenic materials in marijuana (tar levels are higher than tobacco)
  • Lung disease
  • Increased appetite and weight gain
  • Decreased reaction time (higher rates of car accidents)
  • Impaired decision-making
  • Increased rates of depression, anxiety, psychosis (disordered thinking) and an amotivational syndrome (with chronic use) associated with use
  • Dependency/withdrawal symptoms if stopped
  • Heart effects (low blood pressure when standing, heart attacks/stroke have been reported)
  • Bad effects on babies when pregnant women use (decreased growth, effect on school performance)
  • Interactions with medications
  • Fatal to pets with accidental overdose

BENEFITS ASSOCIATED WITH MARIJUANA

Benefits associated with long term use of marijuana for chronic pain are not well documented. Beneficial effects on other diseases such as glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, and seizures are possible. Use of  medical marijuana as an appetite stimulant and improvement in nausea in some patients shows some promise. Generally, other less risky, more studied medications are available.

WILL MY ACHS PROVIDER SIGN MY CARD?

Because ACHS receives federal grant funding and marijuana is still illegal under federal law, your ACHS provider is not able to certify you for medical marijuana even in the cases where the benefits may possibly outweigh the risks.



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