Texarkana, AR, physician ready to prescribe medical marijuana - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Texarkana, AR, physician ready to prescribe medical marijuana

A Texarkana, Ark., doctor says he is ready to prescribe medical marijuana. But the state has yet to approve any dispensaries in the area. (Source: KSLA News 12) A Texarkana, Ark., doctor says he is ready to prescribe medical marijuana. But the state has yet to approve any dispensaries in the area. (Source: KSLA News 12)
TEXARKANA, AR (KSLA) -

Access to marijuana for medical purposes is a step closer in the Ark-La-Tex.

The treatment already is legal in Arkansas. 

Now a Texarkana physician says he is ready to prescribe the drug.

"Many patients have asked me. Possibly hundreds have asked me about it over the years," Dr. Joseph Parker said.

He is among the first physicians in the Texarkana area to say he will prescribe medical marijuana to those who qualify for the treatment.

"I  think most physicians have been thinking this is a necessary step, and there will be a lot of others."

Voters decided in November to let Arkansas join other states in legalizing medical marijuana.

And Parker said the use of cannabis could prove to be safer than other painkillers.

"No one has ever died from an overdose of marijuana; 33,000 people died last year from opioid overdose.

"So if we can transition them to a safer treatment, that would be better for everybody."

Parker said there are those who may criticize his decision.

But, he assured critics, stiff qualifications will have to be met before the drug is prescribed.

"Someone would have to come in previously diagnosed by another physician with a severe medical problem that meets the criteria."

And although a prescription could be written, there are no marijuana dispensaries in the Texarkana, Ark., area.

The city has received several applications, but none has been approved by the state, city manager Kenny Haskin said. 

But that could happen before the start of next year, he added.

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