32 doctors now willing to issue medical cannabis certifications

The Medical Cannabis Commission met Wednesday to give an update on the progress of getting more qualified physicians listed to issue medical cannabis certifications.

There are now 32 physicians on an unofficial list of those willing to issue out medical cannabis certifications on Guam. However, restrictions prevent medical practitioners from working under federally funded programs or work sites from being included on the list.

Roy Adonay, the representative of the Guam Board of Medical Examiners in the Medical Cannabis Commission, updated the body Wednesday morning on the progress of getting more qualified physicians listed.

According to the rules and regulations, they have to be licensed practicing physicians here on the island in order to release recommendations for patients certified for medicinal cannabis.

The commission also discussed the restrictions for physicians who are working in federally-funded programs, which prohibits their inclusion on the list. Adonay assured the commission that the 32 physicians currently on the list are working in private practice.

Debilitating conditions

During the meeting, Dr. Aline Yamashita made a motion to include autism, depression, and anxiety in the list of debilitating conditions for medical marijuana use.

Guam’s current laws allow patients suffering from conditions such as cancer, epilepsy, spinal cord damage, multiple sclerosis, and other conditions to register in the medical marijuana program. Autism, depression, and anxiety are not included in the list.

Patient advocate Jonathan Savares shared with the commission a case study that showed the effects of cannabis treatment to individuals in the autism spectrum. The study compared pre- and post-treatment results.

“The results following cannabis treatment and behavior outbreaks were improved or very much improved in 61 percent of the patients. That is 61 percent more help that we can offer than what we are currently doing,” he said.

As a patient himself, Savares said he wished he could help children with autism.

The commission moved to table the motion. Department of Public Health and Social Services Director and commission chair Linda DeNorcey asked Adonay to gather more information from the medical community and to present it to the commission in the next meeting.