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Veterinarian: People use pot for pain, pets could too

FILE - In this June 26, 2015, file photo, Bear Westerlind, an employee at the medical marijuana dispensary Kaya Shack in Portland, Ore., displays different types of marijuana flowers sold at the shop. Applications for permits to open new medical marijuana dispensaries are growing as the Oct. 1 date approaches when they will be allowed to sell retail marijuana to anyone over 21. (AP Photo/Gosia Wozniacka, File)

There could be more uses for medical marijuana. Some people use it for pain and other relief from ailments, but pets could use it too according to one local veterinarian.

“I think the potential benefits are there,” said Dr. Elizabeth Hershey owner of Integrative Veterinary Oncology in Phoenix. “For chronic pain conditions, just like in people [it] can greatly improve the patient’s quality of life and it potentially can reduce a lot of the symptoms of our cancer patients.”

Dr. Hershey treats primarily pets with cancer.

“It’s been extraordinarily helpful to improve appetite in patients undergoing chemotherapy, it alleviates the side effects of the cancer, it can address pain, it is anti-inflammatory,” Dr. Hershey said.

It’s illegal for vets to prescribe it because it is still currently a schedule one drug.

“Veterinarians, we can’t actually prescribe true medical marijuana for our pets,” Dr. Hershey said. “We do have access to the cannabis oil or the CBD oil, that doesn’t contain the THC.

“I would love to be able to see it legalized and the stances change such that veterinarians could prescribe it for their patients legally.”

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