Recently Rep. Delia Haak (R – Gentry) and Sen. David Wallace (R – Leachville) filed H.B. 1566 at the Arkansas Legislature.
This good bill requires marijuana certifications written for mental illnesses like post-traumatic stress disorder and Alzheimer’s to be issued by a board-certified psychiatrist or neurologist.
Arkansas’ medical marijuana amendment contains a long list of qualifying conditions for which a person can use marijuana, including post-traumatic stress disorder and Alzheimer’s.
Under current law, any physician can certify a patient to use marijuana for PTSD or Alzheimer’s regardless of the physician’s training and experience with mental health.
H.B. 1566 would require the doctor to be a board-certified psychiatrist or neurologist in order to write a marijuana certification for these mental illnesses.
It would not stop other physicians from writing marijuana certifications for other qualifying conditions.
This bill will protect mental health patients from receiving an inappropriate certification to use marijuana.
Last year an Arkansas abortionist drew attention for inappropriately certifying a 12-year-old psychiatric patient to use medical marijuana.
When the girl’s psychiatrists learned the abortionist had certified their patient to use marijuana, they filed a complaint with the Arkansas State Medical Board.
An Expert Reviewer’s Report requested by the medical board concluded that the doctor acted in a grossly negligent manner in diagnosing the child and certifying her to use medical marijuana.
The Arkansas State Medical Board suspended the abortionist’s medical license in August. In December the board reinstated his license on the condition that he not certify minors to use medical marijuana.
A cannabis clinic in Heber Springs has issued statements saying that H.B. 1566 “will destroy the ARMMJ [Arkansas Medical Marijuana] program.”
But anyone who understands the bill knows this is not true. You can read H.B. 1566 here.