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Medical cannabis bill introduced for pets in Rhode Island

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legislators in Rhode Island She introduced a bill that would allow pets to use medical cannabis if and when it was approved by a licensed veterinarian. House Bell 5504, or Edward O. Law. Hawkins and Thomas Slater for Medical Marijuana, introduced Feb. 10 at the Rhode Island House, then referred to the House Health and Human Services Committee.

NBC 10 News in Rhode Island reports This is the second time the bill has been introduced. the The Rhode Island Veterinary Medical Association (RIVMA) did not support the bill in 2021And most veterinarians say cannabis has not been shown to be safe. Representatives Patricia Serpa and Charlene Lima sponsored the bill along with Representatives Julie Casemiro and Deborah Vilela.

“We need to get this dialogue going to see if it’s going to be helpful,” he said. He said Lima. “It may not be the case, studies have shown that THC can be very lethal to animals.” With factors such as a smaller body, and considering that pets break down THC in different ways, it’s rarely a good idea.

The legislator acknowledged that more research is needed to better understand how cannabis affects pets. “You know how quickly science changes,” she said. “There are a lot more studies out there now than there were last year when it was first introduced.”

But some vets believe the bill would unleash a Pandora’s box of problems, given the lack of solid evidence to suggest that hemp is safe for pets.

“If it were overrun, it would be a really big problem for Rhode Island pets,” said Dr. Shelly Pancoast, an emergency veterinarian and president of the Rhode Island Veterinary Medical Association.

Pancoast has mentioned to the media how THC is toxic to pets when ingested and has wildly different effects.

“They show very severe neurological signs and can sometimes look as if they are dead or in a coma,” Pancoast explained.

Dr. Ralph Pratt, Member of the RIVMA Board of Directors, Comparing cannabis to acetaminophen (in 2021), which is completely safe for humans but dangerous for pets.

For years, people have been treating their pets with medical cannabis — primarily CBD — products with anecdotal reports of success treating everything from seizures to stress. The flag is starting to rise.

CBD but not THC for pets in most cases

The general consensus seems to be that pet owners should never give their pets THC, with potentially bad outcomes, but CBD is likely to be less harmful.

Allowing medical cannabis for pets is a relatively new concept. Only a small handful of states offer any kind of protection.

Only California gives vets a free pass out of jail, explicitly allowing them to discuss medical cannabis without fear of repercussions. Assembly Bill 2215, which was passed and signed into law in late 2018, paved the way for Senate Bill 627, by Allowing veterinarians to discuss medical cannabis treatments with pet owners. The state Veterinary Medical Council is prohibited from taking private enforcement action against veterinarians who recommend cannabis products, such as CBD oil.

What is cruelty when it comes to pets and cannabis? Most organizations, such as the Anti-Cruelty Society, seem to give CBD a pass but note that THC breaks down in an entirely different way in animals and can be dangerous. The cannabidiol found in hemp supplements for pets is usually obtained from hemp, which is a variety of cannabis that naturally contains very low concentrations of THC, which is the main psychoactive compound found in marijuana. As a result, CBD is not psychoactive. It appears to be safe to use on pets,” the organization said books.

More states are likely to follow the path of California and Rhode Island with protections for vets.

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