Oahu medical school hosts first seminar on medical marijuana

HONOLULU (AP) — The medical school at the University of Hawaii held its first seminar on medical marijuana with a panel of doctors and lawyers discussing the drug and the regulations governing its use.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the panel shared highlights of research on the topic to an audience consisting mostly of health professionals at the event held earlier this month.

Medical marijuana is available to patients through licensed dispensaries in Hawaii, but doctors cannot legally prescribe it. They can issue written certifications to qualify a patient.

Dr. Thomas Murtaugh, a retired drug researcher, says data on medical marijuana is lacking, so the benefits and side effects on an individual patient are largely unknown. The panelist says patient reactions to cannabis can differ widely.