Veterinarians in a Dilemma Due to the US Federal Law on Cannabis

US federal law

A series of medical research offered evidences, indicating that marijuana may help cats and dogs to tackle arthritis, anxiety, epilepsy and other diseases without any side effects of the traditional drugs. However, the veterinarians are unsure of prescribing it, as there is a risk of going against federal laws.

So far at least 30 states of the US have legalized medical marijuana. However, none of them have made provisions for ill animals

The chair of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s subcommittee on cannabinoids, Dr Jeffrey Powers said that as marijuana remains illegal under US federal law, veterinarians are unwilling to even discuss about it, as it might put their professional licenses at risk. Hence, the pet owners are themselves responsible of taking life-altering decisions regarding dosage and duration of the treatment.

However, the change is likely to come to California, which is ready to authorize nation’s first law that will give the legal shield to the veterinarians required by them to answer questions about treating pets using cannabis.

62-year-old Judy Boyle of Beaver Island, Michigan, said, “A human can get their doctor’s advice but a dog can’t, legally. It’s bizarre.” Boyle’s dog, Mac had been suffering from arthritis and anxiety, and taking traditional prescription medicines for the same. The growing effect of these drugs had caused Mac’s liver to fail.

Boyle researched on the internet and was convinced in March to give Mac 40-pound Australian Cattle Dog cannabinoid (a cannabis plant extract) dog chews. Boyle informed that five months later, the liver functions of his dog had turned normal after years, and he has become much calmer and energetic.

The federal government still bans cannabis as a controlled substance. Besides, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has also assured to get harsh on marijuana. The veterinarians have been warned to not mention it as a treatment option, by their state professional licensing boards.

In a statement, the state Veterinary Medical Board said that currently “veterinarians are in violation of California law if they are incorporating cannabis into their practices.”

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