Republicans Applaud Addition of Alzheimer’s To Medical Marijuana List

State senator Karin Housley (R-St. Marys Point) praised the decision, saying she hopes the move will open the door for additional research on the efficacy of medical marijuana in cases like Alzheimer’s disease.

Credit: Minnesota Department of Health

Individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or related systems will soon be able to seek treatment with medical marijuana.

Starting in August 2019, Alzheimer’s disease will be recognized as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana, according to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). State officials say there is some evidence the use of medical marijuana may improve the quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s by improving their mood, sleep and behavior.

State Sen. Karin Housley (R-St. Marys Point), chairwoman of the Senate Family Care and Aging Committee, praised the decision, saying she hopes the move will open the door for additional research on the efficacy of medical marijuana in cases like Alzheimer’s disease.

“Eight years ago, my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease,” Housley said in a statement. “I understand the debilitating impact the disease can have on an individual – and recognize the lack of effective treatments available for treating the disease.”

“Medical cannabis has proven to be an effective treatment for thousands of Minnesotans, and I am hopeful this will open the door for additional research on the efficacy of medical cannabis in treating Alzheimer’s disease and other illnesses,” Housley added.

State Sen. Jerry Relph (St. Cloud), a member of the Commission on Medical Cannabis, also commended the decision, saying it “reflects a sensible and responsible approach to the use of medical cannabis that does not expose the public to the dangers of the unregulated use of cannabis products.”

“As a member of the commission, I am committed to exploring and expanding the effective use of cannabis products to treat medical conditions, which currently includes cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, intractable pain, and many other debilitating conditions,” Relph said in a statement.

Alzheimer’s disease is the 14th medical condition approved for the use of medical marijuana by state officials. Other qualifying conditions include cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS and intractable pain.

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