Back in November of 2016, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016 was approved with 53.11% of voters saying yes to "legalizing medical marijuana for 17 qualifying conditions, creating a Medical Marijuana Commission, and allocating tax revenue to technical institutes, vocational schools, workforce training, and the General Fund."
This has many potential patients and caregivers wondering what are the qualifying conditions for enrolling in Arkansas' medical marijuana program. We wanted to expand on our previous article to be more helpful to the many potential patients in Arkansas.
The medical conditions that qualify a patient for medicinal cannabis are separated into a few distinct categories. Below are the medical conditions that would qualify a patient for enrolling in Arkansas' medical marijuana program.
Chronic/debilitating diseases or medical conditions or their treatments that cause one or more of the following symptoms:
Cachexia or wasting syndrome
Intractable pain, which is pain that has not responded to ordinary medications, treatment or surgical measures for more than six months
Seizures, including without limitation those characteristic of epilepsy
Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including without limitation those characteristic of multiple sclerosis.
What if My Condition Isn't Listed?!
If you have a medical condition that you believe qualifies you and others afflicted for medical marijuana access, but it's not on the list...don't panic. Thankfully, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment granted the Arkansas Department of Health the right to add medical conditions to the list as necessary.
Through a petition process, patients can request that a new condition be added to the list. There are a few guidelines for this process. First off, a petition can only be used for one specific medical condition or disease.
Beyond that, there are a few more bits of background information that one must include with their petition before it will hold its ground:
The extent to which the debilitating medical condition or disease itself, and/or the treatments, cause severe suffering and impair a person’s daily life.
A description of the conventional medical therapies, other than those that cause suffering available to alleviate the suffering caused by the proposed debilitating medical condition or disease.
A description of the proposed benefits from the medical use of marijuana specific to the proposed debilitating medical condition or disease.
Evidence generally accepted by the medical community and other experts that the use of medical marijuana alleviates suffering caused by the debilitating medical disease and/or treatment.
Since this is not an exhaustive list of all petition requirements, we recommend that patients interested in starting a petition to add medical conditions thoroughly read through the list of supporting documents necessary.