Pets Become Latest Consumers of Medical Marijuana

A sticker is seen on a dog's back during a demo in support of the legalization of marijuana , in Mexico City, on May 5, 2012, as part of the 2012 Global Marijuana March which is being held in hundreds of cities worldwide. AFP PHOTO/ Yuri CORTEZ (Photo credit should …

Pet owners have turned to pot in order to treat many of their pets’ illnesses, reporting success after using the drug on their pets for a wide variety of ailments.

Animal lovers have turned to cannabis-based products, using marijuana to treat their pets’ ailments such as arthritis, seizures, inflammation, anxiety, and pain, The New York Times reported.

Lisa Mastramico’s 12-year-old cat Little Kitty, for example, had arthritis and spent her days hiding in the closet. The NYT reports that Mastramico tried other supplements but to no avail.

After she went to an industry group meeting for cannabis entrepreneurs, she got a medical marijuana card and tried two edible oils made from cannabis on her cat with successful results.

The NYT reports that regulators have not approved these cannabis-based treatments, but pet owners have used the treatments on their dogs, cats, pigs, horses, and domesticated wild animals.

The Food and Drug Administration, for example, has not approved marijuana-based treatments for animals because there is little research showing the drug’s effectiveness.

Veterinarians are not allowed to write prescriptions for cannabis-based products and are hesitant to discuss the idea in states where marijuana is illegal.

Last year, a bill that would legalize marijuana for sick pets was defeated in the Nevada state legislature, The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

But this hasn’t stopped pet owners from giving cannabis-based products to their pets.

Cate Norton, 36, of Springfield, Vermont, where medical marijuana is legal, gives her 3-year-old dog Leia a cannabis-based product for her seizures.

Norton said, “there has been a great reduction in the severity of her seizures” over the eight months she had been treating her dog.

“My vet would like to do it but can’t legally touch it,” she said.

Pet owners in California, where medical marijuana has been legal for two decades, have bucked the trend in pets getting medical marijuana treatments.

Melinda Hayes, 39, runs a full-service medical marijuana delivery service that works with animals as well as people.

Hayes gets most of her calls about pet care and tries to see as many animals as possible.

“I go as often as I can to meet the pet,” Hayes said. “Owners look at their loved ones through rose-colored glasses. People can verbalize their reactions. Animals cannot.”


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