A new bill introduced Tuesday in the Nevada Legislature by Democratic Sen. Tick Segerblom promises relief for ailing dogs. It will allow pups to use pot, according to the AP.
Of course, a veterinarian must first certify that the dog has an illness or condition that might be helped by the drug, but as medical marijuana increases its spread in acceptance across the country, more and more vets believe cannabis should be used on pets.
Late Los Angeles veterinarian Doug Kramer told the AP in 2013 that cannabis helped his Siberian Husky after tumor surgery. Pot eased the pain, prompted her to eat, and gave her an extra six weeks of quality life before she was euthanized.
The decision to use pot was a simple one for Kramer.
“I grew tired of euthanizing pets when I wasn’t doing everything I could to make their lives better,” Kramer told the AP. “I felt like I was letting them down.”
Dogster has written on medical marijuana for dogs a handful of times, including stories about Dr. Kramer, who was the first vet in the country to offer cannabis consultations as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for pet patients.
In doing so, he risked jail time, but that didn’t stop him.
“The decision was an easy one for me to make,” he told Dogster in 2013. “I refuse to condemn my patients to a miserable existence for self-preservation or concerns about what may or may not happen to me as a consequence of my actions. My freedom of speech is clearly protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. This is an issue of animal welfare, plain and simple. Remaining silent would represent a clear violation of the veterinarian’s oath I took when I was admitted into this profession.”
As for our own resident vet, Dr. Eric Barchas, who was thrust onto the frontlines of the pot-for-pooches debate after his non-judgmental 2007 article on the subject became the go-to document for pro-veterinary marijuana advocates, his feeling were mixed as of 2014.
“So, how do I really feel about veterinary marijuana?” he wrote in an article on Dogster at the time. “I’m neither in favor of it nor against it. My experience has been that dogs don’t respond well to current varieties of medical marijuana and medibles. However, experience with humans has shown that marijuana has valid medical uses. Research is necessary to determine which strains or varieties might be beneficial to dogs. I’m in favor of doing that research, but at this time I cannot recommend medical marijuana for my patients.”
With the Nevada bill jumpstarting the debate, that research will likely start happening. In Nevada, the pot-for-dogs proposal is tied into a larger bill that would overhaul Nevada’s medical marijuana law, dealing with issues such as drivers with marijuana in their blood and training for owners of marijuana stores.
What do you think? Should dogs have access to medical marijuana? Let us know your feelings in the comments.
Via the AP.
More food for thought on the marijuana-for-dogs debate: