A recent editorial in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) raised some questions about the indications for medical marijuana, which vary greatly by state.
“There is some evidence to support the use of marijuana for nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy, specific pain syndromes, and spasiticity from multiple sclerosis,” Deepak Cyril D’Souza, MBBS, MD, and Mohini Ranganathan, MD, write. “However, for most other indications that qualify by state law for use of medical marijuana, such as hepatitis C, Crohn disease, Parkinson disease, or Tourette syndrome, the evidence supporting its use is of poor quality.”
Another one of those diseases for which there is little evidence to support it being an indication for medical marijuana? Glaucoma.
Glaucoma and medical marijuana
Medical marijuana is legal in 23 states and Washington, DC. As Drs. D’Souza and Ranganathan note, the indications vary widely.
“There are inconsistencies in how medical conditions are qualified for medical marijuana use within a state and between states,” they write. “For example, in Connecticut, psoriasis and sickle cell disease but not Tourette syndrome qualify, even though the supporting evidence for all three conditions is uniformly of very low quality…These differences reflect inconsistences in evaluating and applying current evidence toward decision making about qualifying indications for medical marijuana use.”
Glaucoma is an indication for a medical marijuana prescription in the following states:
• Washington, DC
• New Hampshire
• New Jersey
• New Mexico
• Rhode Island