Confusion over marijuana laws has Tampa doctors, patients worried

Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, photograph (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP file photo

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — After a recent medical marijuana bill went up in smoke, a Tampa doctor, who treats patients with medical marijuana, is worried that people are confused about who can seek treatment.

As voters in Florida patiently wait for state lawmakers to get their act together and create a framework to carry out a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana for wide variety of patients, there is some good news for patients seeking treatment. You can still access medical marijuana after a 90 day waiting period.

“The industry, and the practice of medicine using medical cannabis is up and going and very healthy right now. We’re doing it and we’re helping people. I’ve had patients who’ve stopped having seizures, I have people with violent and terrible anxiety coming off their psychological medications, I have patients weaning their opiate medications and this is because we’re allowed to use it now.” said Dr. David Berger, a Tampa pediatrician

Berger went on to say the bill that didn’t pass had too many snags for doctors, from having to report every medication ordered to pushing patients before a state medical board.

“We’re the ones weighing the risks and benefits of on a case by case basis, which is ultimately the job of the physician not the job of some bureaucratic board,” said Berger.

While there is a push to get Florida lawmakers to call a special session on the matter, the reality is, voters might have to wait until the 2018 session before the bill goes before lawmakers again.

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