PMP Policy on Medical Marijuana | Articles

PMP Policy on Medical Marijuana

James R. Morris, M.D.
Aug. 4, 2016

By James R. Morris, M.D.

At Pain Management Partners, we welcome our patients' questions about treatment options for chronic pain, including marijuana (cannabis).

Although regulated (medically and recreationally) in the state of Oregon, marijuana is not legal at the federal level. And, although the state of Oregon licenses health practitioners, the federal government sets national healthcare policy, licenses controlled substance prescribing and controls access to and distribution of approved prescription medications. The contradictory federal-state legal status of medical marijuana laws keeps cannabis in a legal limbo that leaves patients and medical practices vulnerable. These considerations factor into PMP patient risk analysis, affecting treatment decisions. PMP can recommend cannabis as a treatment option only where the clear benefits of this treatment outweigh the risks.

Due to medical risk and legal liability, PMP providers will not approve concurrent use of cannabis for patients on opiate or narcotic medications. PMP providers will, however, consider requests from patients who wish to substitute cannabis for their opiate medication. We actively support the individualís right to the appropriate treatment option.

Patients who wish to discuss potential risks and benefits of marijuana (cannabis) in their treatment should make an appointment to have their questions addressed.

PMP will provide continued review of the medical and legal status of marijuana for pain management and update this policy as warranted.