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Nursing Home Policies on Medical Marijuana Still Unclear

Staff CMM - Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Although Colorado state law dictates that patients in nursing homes are allowed to use medical marijuana for eight specific conditions, many nursing homes are hesitant to take the risk of allowing and/or administering it to their patients since the substance is still considered illegal under federal law. Many long-term care facilities in the state would prefer to play it safe and follow federal law rather than taking any chances. Some facilities such as North Star Rehabilitation & Care Community are taking a zero tolerance stance when it comes to medical marijuana and state their policy clearly during the admission process. As the facility views it, the nurses would be responsible for administering the marijuana and that would place them in a liability situation that the facilities would rather avoid. There are other facilities, however, who take a more lenient stance on the subject. Sunrise at Cherry Creek views medical marijuana much as any other medication, but states clearly that the medical marijuana must be ingested either in pill form or baked into food. Walking the fine line between state and federal laws has put some nursing homes in a tough spot and many are simply choosing to err on the side of caution and ban the substance from their facility altogether.

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