A study published in Pediatrics examined interdisciplinary provider perspectives on legal medical marijuana use in children with cancer. It found that 92 percent of providers were willing to help children with cancer access medical marijuana. However, providers who are legally eligible to certify for medical marijuana were less open to endorsing its use.
While nearly a third of providers received one or more requests for medical marijuana, the lack of standards on formulations, dosing and potency was identified as the greatest barrier to recommending it. These findings reflect survey responses from 288 providers in Illinois, Massachusetts and Washington.
“It is not surprising that providers who are eligible to certify for medical marijuana were more cautious about recommending it, given that their licensure could be jeopardized due to federal prohibition,” said co-author Kelly Michelson, MD, Critical Care physician at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Institutional policies also may have influenced their attitudes. Lurie Children’s, for example, prohibits pediatric providers from facilitating medical marijuana access in accordance with the federal law, even though it is legal in Illinois.”