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Children's Hospital Doctor Licensed to Recommend Medical Marijuana

photo of Akron Children's Hospital
Akron Children's Hospital is leaving it up to its doctors on whether or not to recommend medical marijuana to patients.

Medical marijuana began being sold this week, but some hospitals are not allowing their doctors to recommend it. Akron Children's is not one of them.

Dr. Sarah Friebert, Director of Palliative Pediatric Care at Akron Children’s, is one of two doctors at the hospital with the license to recommend medical marijuana. She obtained the certificate to help children with very serious or terminal illnesses.  

At this time, Friebert is not recommending marijuana as a primary medical therapy. She also says she does not recommend the plant unless parents approach her about it first.

“They [parents] are actually ahead of us in terms of looking for and hoping for therapies that can be beneficial for their children. That is why we need to be cautious because these families are often willing to do anything to help their children, and as medical professionals, it’s our job to be sure that we are recommending things that are going to be helpful and not hurtful to children.”

Dr. Friebert has already recommended the treatment to three patients, but none have received it because Ohio dispensaries do not yet have products appropriate for children. She does not know when those items will be available. 

Friebert does acknowledge the need to conduct more research on medical marijuana, but encourages people to have an open mind.