Medical Marijuna

The issue of whether or not to legalize the use of medical marijuana in Florida will be on the ballot in November.

This week the American Academy of Neurology is putting out a new guideline regarding its use for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, suggesting it may ease some symptoms of the disease.

"This panel of experts looked at all of the different alternative and complementary therapies that they could identify that had studies evaluating their efficacy," Dr. Robert Fox of Cleveland Clinic said. "And they found that there were many therapies that had been looked at and indeed, some of them had shown some evidence of usefulness of efficacy in multiple sclerosis."

AAN researchers looked at complementary or alternative medicine therapies, also known as "cam" therapies, for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

They found certain forms of medical marijuana, in pill or oral spray form only, may help reduce pain due to tight or stiff muscles and frequent urination, but not loss of bladder control. Researchers say there is not enough evidence to suggest smoking marijuana is helpful in treating MS symptoms.

"So, it's important for patients to recognize if they are considering cannabis, including marijuana, that they discuss this with their neurologist so that they understand what the expectations are for the therapy, what the safety concerns are for the therapy, and also the potential legal implications depending on what state they are in," Fox said.

Complete findings for this study are in the journal "neurology."

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