COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state medical board is reviewing petitions asking that opioid addiction, autism, depression and other conditions be treated with medical marijuana use in Ohio.

Cannabis products are becoming available in Ohio dispensaries over the next few months following delays in rolling out the program last year.

Dr. Daniel Neides with Inspire Wellness in Beachwood says using medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids and chronic pain would be a “gamechanger.” He says adding to the list of qualifying conditions is a good thing.  

“It helps more people. It provides a greater tax revenue for the state. To me, it becomes a win-win," he said. “They deserve every option."

Dr. Neides was one of the first doctors in the state to receive a certification to prescribe medical marijuana. He says he’s already written prescriptions for more than 200 people with a variety of health concerns.

“With medical conditions like MS, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and PTSD,” he said. They are just looking for relief."

He says there’s evidence that suggests medical marijuana is effective for people with autism. Dr. Neides says he’s received anecdotal information as well from parents who say the use of medical marijuana helped with aggressive behavior and self-mutilation.

“Symptoms seem to be decreased with the add on of medical cannabis,” he said.

Dr. Neides also says medical marijuana could help people with mood swings such as depressions. He says it's a disorder that causes inflammation on the brain. If you use medical cannabis right, it could help.

"Anything that you can do to reduce inflammation can in some patients alleviate their symptoms.”

And he says it could also help us win the fight against opioids.

“Not only does it offer the relief that their looking for but it doesn’t have the addictive potential that you see with the heroin, the fentanyl, the Percocet and the Vicodin."

Patients need a physician's recommendation to buy medical marijuana from such dispensaries to treat allowable conditions, which currently include AIDS, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, cancer, epilepsy and several other maladies.

The medical board scheduled a meeting Wednesday to review petitions for adding several new conditions. Any petitions that meet initial requirements will then be reviewed by experts for possible recommendation of inclusion on the list of allowable conditions.

Decisions on new conditions must come within six months.

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