HCN News & Notes

MMS Adopts Resolutions on Marijuana at Interim Meeting

WALTHAM — Resolutions on recreational marijuana and medical-marijuana use in women of reproductive age were among those adopted as new policies by the members of the Massachusetts Medical Society’s House of Delegates at its recent interim meeting.

Physicians voted to continue to oppose the legalization of recreational marijuana, a policy first established in 1997, and to advocate and educate regarding the adverse public health effects of recreational marijuana use. The resolution also stated that the society urge that any proposed legislation supporting such use of marijuana specifically prohibit individuals under the age of 21 from possessing or using marijuana or marijuana-infused products.

Additionally, the delegates urged that any legislation supporting recreational marijuana include dedicated revenues for public education and for the prevention and treatment of health consequences to the public, such as substance abuse and addiction, which may be aggravated by the use of recreational marijuana.

Regarding medical-marijuana use, the society also adopted a position similar to one approved by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology in July that states that women of reproductive age who report marijuana use should be counseled about the potential adverse health consequences of its use and should be encouraged to avoid using the drug.

The policy adds that insufficient data exists to evaluate the effects of marijuana use on infants during lactation and breastfeeding, and in the absence of such data, marijuana use should be discouraged. The policy also encourages physicians certifying patients who receive marijuana for medical use be advised of the risks of marijuana on reproduction, pregnancy, the fetus, and breastfeeding.