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Harrisburg, Pennsylvania — For the first time, the public was immediately aware of the number of patients using medical marijuana to treat opioid use disorders in Pennsylvania. One of the few states that specifically supports that treatment option.
Spotlight PA asked for that information when reporting on Tyler Cordeiro. A back county man who was mistakenly denied funding for addiction treatment for a medical marijuana card.. Cordero died of overdose a few weeks later.
After the Ministry of Health refused to reveal the number (the state’s medical marijuana law said it “protects patient and caregiver information,” media outlets disputed public records involving the Wolf administration. I appealed to an independent body to settle the matter.
This month’s Open Records office ruled in favor of Spotlight PA and ordered the health department to disclose the number of cannabis-certified patients under each of the state’s 23 eligibility conditions.
In making the decision, the office rejected the Wolf administration’s argument that disclosing the number violated the confidentiality rules of the state’s 2016 Medical Marijuana Act. At one point, a lawyer at the Ministry of Health suggested that disclosure of information could lead to criminal accusations against employees.
Nonetheless, John J. Collins, director of medical marijuana, had previously published similar information, including the number of certified people. I have used marijuana for the diagnosis of anxiety and have never faced any known results. In that case, a spokesperson for the ministry later said that the directors answered the questions from the directors “appropriately.”
While Spotlight PA’s appeal was pending, the Open Records office ruled in favor of another news agency, CNHI. The requested information How many medical marijuana patients live in each of the 67 counties in Pennsylvania.
“Determining that the aggregated data requested is confidential can lead to ridiculous results,” wrote Kyle Applegate, chief counsel of the office, in a final order on July 15.
The data revealed that more than 50,000 people enrolled in medical marijuana live in one of 29 rural counties. Medical marijuana pharmacy.
Despite CNHI’s ruling, the Ministry of Health continued to oppose the disclosure of aggregate data in the Spotlight PA open record case. In an overview on July 30, the ministry quoted a federal court ruling in 2019, which cited the confidentiality rules of the Crime Victims Act.
In that case, the court ruled against those seeking data on those who were denied compensation for the victim. The Open Records Department rejected the comparison, writing that the Victims of Crime Act imposes stricter confidentiality obligations than the state’s Medical Marijuana Act.
Spotlight PA also requested a written policy or procedure that explains how agencies can track the use of medical marijuana programs. The Department of Health claimed that there was no such information, but the Department of Open Records found that authorities could not prove it.
By October 4, the Ministry of Health must provide a breakdown of the data requested by Spotlight PA and a written policy, or appeal the decision to federal court. If the agency does neither, Spotlight PA may seek a court order to enforce the office’s final decision.
More than 633,000 patients and caregivers are enrolled in the Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis Program, according to information presented by the Ministry of Health at the August meeting of the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board.
In 2018, Dr. Rachel Levine, a former Pennsylvania Minister of Health, added opioid use disorder to the list of “serious medical conditions.” This makes someone eligible for the state’s medical marijuana program. State guidelines state that cannabis should be used if other treatments fail or are not recommended, or to supplement other treatments. Pennsylvania’s approach to cannabis and opioid use disorders remains outliers.
Two Pennsylvania neighbors, New Jersey and New York, also approved opioid use disorder as a condition of eligibility for a medical cannabis program, but provided a number to Spotlight PA without an open record request.
In July, more than 2,200 of the state’s approximately 115,000 registered cannabis patients were enrolled in New Jersey due to opioid use disorders, a New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission spokesman said.
In New York, more than 2,100 patients diagnosed with opioid use disorder were certified under the Medical Marijuana Program from July 2018 to July 2021, according to a spokesperson for the New York State Department of Health.
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The Wolf Administration has ordered to reveal details of cannabis use as a treatment for drug addiction | Spotlight Pa
Source link The Wolf Administration has ordered to reveal details of cannabis use as a treatment for drug addiction | Spotlight Pa