New Lakeland Clinic Devoted to Medical Marijuana Treatment


icon  11 Oct, 2017  /  icon  0        Author: Chloe

Florida is not known for its lax medical marijuana laws. And it is also not known for the expertise of its doctors in terms of marijuana. There are quite a number of complaints regarding the dosages prescribed by doctors, and the doctors do not seem to have any level of expertise. All that is required is that they complete a basic 2-hour course which fails to cover dosages and common side effects, two very obvious requirements for any substance. Doctors in the state are also erring on the side of caution when it comes to dosages, often giving levels that are far too low at far too high a price. Many patients are of the opinion that the industry in Florida is immature with a lack of rules and regulations and too much of an emphasis on profit taking by individual doctors who only got their state approval to increase their bottom line. There is no current state law that limits the amount of THC that may be prescribed to patients, but this has not prevented are refusal of doctors to prescribe the substance to their sick patients for fear of an unlikely overdose.

A New Florida Clinic

A new clinic has opened in Polk County in Florida, the first facility devoted to medical marijuana treatment in the area. The company is being led by Dr. Aida Cuascut-Reyes, a passionate marijuana advocate after listening to the screams of a rectal cancer patient without any form of painkiller strong enough to mitigate the pain. She says that she wishes the patient had lived long enough to be treated with medical marijuana, which she believes would have eased her suffering. She stated that “I have a lot of patients with a lot of needs that can be addressed by medical marijuana that they didn’t have a choice before”. There are currently no medical marijuana facilities in Polk County and 20 doctors in the area that have done the training, out of a total of 1100 in the state itself. The treatment center in Polk is part of the Medical Marijuana Treatment Clinics of Florida. The company’s chief medical officer, DrJoseph Dorn, said that the group had no affiliation with any of the marijuana dispensaries.

Doctors like Cuascut-Reyes are very rare. The fact of the matter is that most doctors, particularly in Florida, have gone into the industry with little knowledge and simply to make as much money as they can. This is according to longtime marijuana patient and veteran Richard Hacker, who stated that doctors have no expertise in the matter and that “they don’t know a thing about dosages or what they are prescribing”. These views are echoed by many patients in Florida which has a strict yet unclear policy. There are no real guidelines and doctors are learning on the go, prescribing the lowest dosage that they can for too high of a price.

Cuascut-Reyes herself is among the critics of the current rules and regulations surrounding the cultivation, distribution and prescription of marijuana for potential patients. She says that the list of diseases, which includes MS, cancer, Crohn’s, chronic pain and Parkinson’s, needs to be greatly enlarged. But she is at least happy that the substance is finally legalized and has been more effective than the prescription drugs she has had to give to patients. She has seen measurable improvements in patients who use marijuana with far less side effects that typical pain killers. Marijuana treatment is also an adjunct treatment at the center, along with other types of treatment.

The state initially awarded licenses to five companies, allowing them to produce and dispense cannabis-based medications. That number expanded amid legal challenges, and GrowHealthy, a company based in Lake Wales, is now among nine license holders.More than 39,000 Floridians have signed up through the Florida Department of Health to receive medical marijuana as a form of treatment for a list of qualifying illnesses since the registry opened in 2016.

The Future for Florida

According to many, the infrastructure in Florida needs to be revamped and there needs to be more rules and regulations surrounding the use, cultivation and prescription of marijuana. At present, treatment centers have no relationship with dispensaries or growing facilities, although it takes time for these relationships to flourish naturally. But doctors need reassurance with regard to dosage levels, as this is holding them back from prescribing the correct dosages. Cannabis is absolutely harmless and the worst that can happen is the patient goes to sleep or perhaps throws up. There has never been a single death related to cannabis, as it is technically impossible, unless it could somehow trigger an underlying heart condition (Though again, there has never been a single recorded case). Paradoxically, Florida needs to lighten up on its regulations and at the same time make it more precise and effective, as it is very unprofessional and thrown together as it stands. Suspiciously, it is difficult to get a doctor to prescribe it, and citing litigation concerns does not really cut it.

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