Hawaii Law Lets Nurses Certify Medical Marijuana Patients

Hawaii patients have more options to gain access to medical marijuana now that nurses can certify people for use of the drug, a change advocates say was needed because there's a shortage of doctors willing to do the certifications.

Gov. David Ige signed a bill Monday updating the state's medical marijuana dispensary law.

"It's high time that this bill came into effect," said Wailua Brandman, a psychiatric nurse practitioner. "I have patients that have been using marijuana, not legally, because they don't have the diagnosis yet ... but the medication is working for them, and they keep asking me, can they get a card?"

Medical marijuana has been legal in Hawaii since 2000 but dispensaries were not approved until last year. Until now, patients have had to grow their own marijuana or get the drug with the help of a caregiver.

The Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii fields calls daily...

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