Members of the Delaware House & Human Development Committee advanced legislation (House Bill 285) this morning providing physicians with greater discretion to recommend medical cannabis products to their patients.

NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano provided written testimony to the Committee in favor the measure, stating: “Physicians in Delaware are limited to recommending medical cannabis solely to those patients who possess one of a limited number of state-specific qualifying medical conditions. This condition list was created by lawmakers, not by health professionals. A case in point. Neither fibromyalgia nor Tourette Syndrome currently appear on Delaware’s qualifying condition list.

“… Patients with these and other non-qualifying conditions for which medical marijuana can provide relief should be able to access cannabis following a determination by their physician. A patient’s treatment options should not be limited by the government, but rather, they should be determined in confidence between a patient and their doctor.”

The Committee’s Vice-Chair, Rep. Eric Morrison, made expressed a similar point of view, opining: “I do believe that, in terms of medical cannabis, that should be a decision between the doctor and the patient. I can’t imagine who would know what that patient needs and can use and will help them more than the doctor and the patient.”

Lawmakers enacted the state’s medical access program in 2011. An estimated 15,000 patients are enrolled in it.

Last year, lawmakers approved legislation legalizing adult-use marijuana possession and retail sales. However, state-licensed retailers are not expected to be operational under the law until 2025.

The full text of NORML’s testimony is online.

NORML’s legislative action alert in support of HB 285 is available here.

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