Culture

Pot for pets? U.S. law doesn’t make it easy

A wave of medical research is providing fresh evidence that marijuana may help ailing dogs and cats, but current U.S. laws make it difficult for veterinarians to even discuss the treatment with pet owners. Linda So reports.

PASADENA + LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES / LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (Reuters) – At this year’s Catcon in California, apart from cat fashions and cat merchandise, they were talking marijuana… and not just for cats.

A growing number of pet owners are seeking out alternative, effective pain treatments for their ailing animals.

JULIENNE BROWN, CAT OWNER,

“I have two rambunctious, anxious cats, one with arthritis, so I’m all for anything that’s going to make their living situation more comfortable.”

A wave of medical research is providing new evidence that marijuana may be the answer for animals suffering with arthritis, epilepsy and a host of other maladies.

Marijuana-based treatments are available to pet owners, but many veterinarians have been warned by their state professional licensing boards not to mention marijuana as a treatment option because the federal government still bans cannabis as a controlled sustance.

But that could soon change in California.

The state is preparing to pass the nation’s first law giving veterinarians legal cover to answer questions about using pot for pets.

GARY RICHTER, A VETERINARIAN IN OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA,

“If that is passed, that will allow veterinarians to legally discuss the use of medical cannabis with our clients for animal patients, which will be a huge step forward as far as medical cannabis for animals.”

In the meantime, pet owners are snapping up products that contain cannabis to help their pets.

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