Same problem, different state start-up; A doctor’s OK is required for Missouri’s medical marijuana program, but many won’t write one


Eczema and glaucoma keep Juan Rosado awake at night. He thinks marijuana can help.

But he said his University City eye clinic isn’t certifying people for Missouri’s medical marijuana program.

“I just have to go a different route,” said Rosado, 65, of St. Ann.

People across the state are looking for doctors to certify them to buy marijuana for medical use, a process that started June 4. But they’re running into resistance. Marijuana isn’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration — the federal government classifies it as an illegal drug. There are no federally approved standard dosages or safety testing, a less-rigorous review process and no insurance coverage, leading some family doctors and primary care physicians to shy away from certifying patients.

“The simple fact is that most doctors are uninformed about the use of marijuana as medicine,” said Dan Viets, head of the Missouri Medical Cannabis Industry Association and a longtime advocate for marijuana legalization.

Missouri is the 33rd state to legalize marijuana for medical use. In other states, the majority of marijuana patients have been certified by a small number of independent physicians or marijuana-specific clinics, Viets said.

Clinics are already popping up in the St. Louis region from Ferguson to west St. Louis County, advertising certification for about $200. [Read More @ Houston Herald]