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Medical News & Perspectives |

Colorado Tackles Medical Implications of Marijuana

Bridget M. Kuehn, MSJ
JAMA. 2014;311(20):2053-2054. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.4370.
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When Colorado legalized possession of small amounts of marijuana in January, the action catapulted the state to the forefront of discussions about drug policy. But the state is no newcomer to marijuana policy. Since 2000, Colorado has allowed patients access to limited amounts of marijuana as therapy for 8 conditions: pain, cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, cachexia, persistent muscle spasms, seizures, and severe nausea (http://1.usa.gov/1iClyJ2).

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Medical dispensaries, such as the one pictured here, have been selling marijuana in Colorado since 2000 to patients with a recommendation from a physician. Most seek marijuana to relieve pain.

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Larry Wolk, MD, MSPH, who leads the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, urged physicians to view medical marijuana as they would any emerging treatment.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

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