NFL willing to study medical marijuana for pain

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - According to the Washington Post, the NFL has sent a letter to the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) offering to work together on a study looking at the potential use of medical marijuana as a pain management tool.

The request could signal a change in the NFL's position on marijuana which is now strictly banned.

People familiar with the situation told the Washington Post that the NFLPA is conducting its own study and has not yet responded to the NFL's offer of joint marijuana research.

The Buffalo Bills had no comment on the report.

Dr. Laszlo Mechtler, MD, the director of the Dent Cannabis Clinic in Amherst, thinks it is a good idea.  In the attached clip, Dr Mechtler explains why.

The medical marijuana program in New York State continues to expand with Chronic Pain added as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana this past March.  Since the addition, patients certified to use medical marijuana have increased by 7,500.

The New York State Department of Health has also streamlined the registration process for doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.  It is now possible for practitioners to register online with the NYS Department of Health and certify patients for medical marijuana use on the same day.

PTSD is also being considered as a qualifying conditions - something advocates say could help many suffering veterans.

Five new registered organizations have been certified by the state to manufacture and distribute medical marijuana.  One of those, New York Canna (doing business as Terradiol New York), will manufacture the drug in Onondaga County and have dispensing facilities in Erie County.

However, there is a concern about out-of-state doctors who are collecting cash to certify patients for medical marijuana but have no concerns about follow-up.  Some doctors fly into NYS to see multiple patients then leave.  Others are using the internet and programs like SKYPE to certify patients. The doctors are successful because medical marijuana is not covered by health insurance and has to be paid for out-of-pocket.  

Dr. Mechtler is very worried that patients could be setting themselves up for serious health problems by using these "unethical" doctors because the symptoms a patient is seeking medical marijuana for, might actually be indications of problems like tumors.

7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly has more in his reports.

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