Does ‘Right To Try’ Include Medical Marijuana

Photo Credit: Seth Perlman

On Wednesday, May 30, 2018, President Trump signed the “Right To Try” bill into law.

The law allows terminally ill patients to try experimental treatments that have not yet received final approval by the FDA.

But does this include medical marijuana? The short answer, yes – for some. Accessing marijuana under the Right to Try law would be legal only for patients who are gravely ill.

“To access cannabis, they would need to be in ‘a stage of a disease or condition in which there is reasonable likelihood that death will occur within a matter of months, or a disease or condition that would result in significant irreversible morbidity that is likely to lead to severely premature death,'” Forbes reported.

The article also clarifies eligible patients would have “exhausted approved treatment options” and they would not be eligible “to otherwise participate in ongoing clinical trials on the drug because they don’t meet inclusion criteria or live within geographic proximity of where the study is taking place.”

In order for a drug to be eligible for the Right to Try law, it must first pass a Phase 1 clinical trial. Thanks to research by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), marijuana is currently in Phase 2 clinical trials.

New drugs generally undergo years of expensive testing before manufacturers seek and gain FDA approval to market them. But with Right to Try, eligible patients no longer have to wait.

Based on federal law, Indiana currently considers marijuana to be a Schedule 1 controlled substance, meaning it is illegal to possess. It is unclear how Indiana law enforcement will interpret and enforce the new federal law related to marijuana.