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Use caution in drug decisions

Critics of legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes warn that doing so can result in an onslaught of requests for prescriptions from people who want the drug solely for recreational purposes. Good for the Ohio Medical Board for rejecting one potential avenue of such attempts at deception.

On Wednesday, board members voted against adding anxiety and autism spectrum disorders as grounds for seeking medicinal marijuana prescriptions. Ten states allow purchase of medicinal marijuana for anxiety. Another 22 permit its use by those diagnosed with autism spectrum.

Board members are right to be concerned not just about people faking anxiety to get marijuana, but also about how the drug affects some people. In rejecting that petition, the board noted marijuana can provide temporary relief from anxiety for some people — but it also can cause panic attacks.

Regarding use of the drug for those with autism, board members also are on solid ground. They cited concern about marijuana’s effects on children’s developing brains.

Good work. It takes little imagination to conceive of the reaction to permitting patients being treated for anxiety to obtain medicinal marijuana. An increase in the number of Buckeye State residents scheduling doctors’ appointments with claims of experiencing anxiety all the time would result.

Medical board members left open the door to reconsidering their decisions in the future. That, too, is wise. No one knows what scientific evidence may come up in the future. For now, however, the right decisions were made.

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