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Nevada bill would give medical marijuana to pets

Nevada state Sen. Tick Segerblom's medical marijuana bill would allow the state's sick dogs to get in touch with their inner Snoop Doggs.

By Ben Hooper
Photo by Vitaly Korovin/Shutterstock
Photo by Vitaly Korovin/Shutterstock

CARSON CITY, Nev., March 18 (UPI) -- A bill introduced in Nevada's state Senate would legalize medical marijuana use for cats, dogs and other pets that receive prescriptions from veterinarians.

State Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-District 3, introduced an omnibus bill Tuesday aiming to strengthen the state's medical marijuana law, and one of the provisions in the proposed legislation would allow pets of Nevada residents to receive medical marijuana cards on the recommendation of veterinarians.

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"People these days believe that marijuana can cure everything under the sun," Segerblom told the Los Angeles Times, "from the inability to eat if you're terminally ill to problems with your nervous system. So if your dog has a nerve disease or uncontrollable tremors, this might be able to help it."

The senator said the bill includes several provisions related to the state's medical marijuana bill, but the pet provision has been gathering the most attention.

"This was an omnibus bill; it includes everything including the kitchen sink," he said. "There are a lot of things in it, but this is the one addition that people seem to be fixating on."

Segerblom said pets would only get medical marijuana "if a veterinarian says its OK."

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"That will change if we get a law passed for recreational marijuana use," Segerblom said. "And it's going to happen. We've already got 100,000 signatures to get the issue on the ballot next year."

The Food and Drug Administration issued warnings earlier this month to two Washington state businesses selling cannabis-infused products for animals.

The FDA letters to Canna Companion and Canna-Pet said the products are "unapproved new animal drug(s) and your marketing of them violates the FD&C [U.S. Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act]." Canna Companion said its products provide the positive health effects of marijuana while "minimizing the 'high-inducing' concentrations of [active ingredient] THC."

Nevada state Sen. Mark Manendo, D-District 21, said he is skeptical of medical marijuana for animals.

"I've never even heard of this," he said. "Are there vets out there who would even know if this works on animals? There are lots of questions."

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