Patients with terminal or debilitating medical conditions may, under their health care practitioner's care, benefit from the medical use of cannabis.
Terminal or debilitating medical condition means a condition severe enough to significantly interfere with the patient's activities of daily living and ability to function, which can be objectively assessed and evaluated and limited to the following:
- Cancer, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), multiple sclerosis, epilepsy or other seizure disorder, or spasticity disorders.
- Intractable pain, limited for the purpose of this chapter to mean pain unrelieved by standard medical treatments and medications.
- Glaucoma, either acute or chronic, limited for the purpose of this chapter to mean increased intraocular pressure unrelieved by standard treatments and medications.
- Crohn's disease with debilitating symptoms unrelieved by standard treatments or medications.
- Hepatitis C with debilitating nausea or intractable pain unrelieved by standard treatments or medications.
- Diseases, including anorexia, which result in nausea, vomiting, wasting, appetite loss, cramping, seizures, muscle spasms, or spasticity, when these symptoms are unrelieved by standard treatments or medications.
- Chronic renal failure requiring hemodialysis.
- Posttraumatic stress disorder.
- Traumatic brain injury.
Humanitarian compassion necessitates that the decision to use cannabis by patients with terminal or debilitating medical conditions is a personal, individual decision, based upon their healthcare practitioner's professional medical judgment and discretion.
Mental health conditions don't qualify
Due to a lack of scientific evidence supporting improved health outcomes from the use of medical cannabis for mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety, the Medical Quality Assurance Commission denied requests to add to the list of qualifying conditions. You may read the commission's and board's decision on the latest petition in the final order (PDF).
How to add qualifying conditions
Prior to July 24, 2015, the Medical Quality Assurance Commission, in consultation with the Board of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery, considered petitions requesting to add conditions for which medical cannabis may be recommended under state law. In 2015, the law changed and petitions are no longer allowed. To add a qualifying condition to the list would require an act of legislation to change the law.