House to discuss marijuana, VCPR, opioids, service animals

Published on June 14, 2017
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The AVMA House of Delegates plans to discuss the diverse topics of marijuana for treatment of animals, application and definition of the veterinarian-client-patient relationship, prescription monitoring programs and opioid prescribing, and service and assistance animals.

The House will consider these issues at its next Veterinary Information Forum, July 20 in Indianapolis. Members of the AVMA can find their delegates' contact information on the My Leaders page of the AVMA website.

Many states have passed laws to permit medicinal or recreational use of marijuana in people, although federal law prohibits all uses of marijuana. The American Holistic VMA, which is seated in the House, encourages researching the safety, dosing, and uses of cannabis in animals.

The AVMA, Food and Drug Administration, and states have various definitions for the veterinarian-client-patient relationship. Delegates recently discussed application of the VCPR in telemedicine.

Almost all states track dispensing of controlled substances, and about a third require veterinarians to report such dispensing. Human deaths from prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Also in Indianapolis, the House will deliberate on a proposed policy on "The Veterinarian's Role in Supporting Appropriate Selection and Use of Service, Assistance and Therapy Animals." The growing number of animals being falsely identified as assistance animals has caused increased scrutiny of their use.

Related JAVMA content:

Bad medicine or natural remedy? (Oct. 1, 2014)

Advisory panel report offers guidance on telemedicine (March 1, 2017)

States track dispensing to counter drug fraud (Feb. 1, 2017)

AVMA to deliberate on assistance animals, stem cells (June 1, 2017)