A California veterinarian is advocating using medical marijuana to help improve the quality of life for some pets with untreatable conditions, according to ABC News.
Doug Kramer of the Vet Guru animal veterinary center says treating pets with medical marijuana could help pet owners put off the decision to euthanize their animals while treating the pets’ pain.
Ingrid Newkirk, President of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, told ABC News, “Our position is that anything that can help animals – if it’s truly, properly administered in the right amount [and] can relieve a dog’s pain – then they should be given the same consideration that humans in pain are given.”
Newkirk cautioned about the potential for abuse when people who use marijuana are around pets. “People amuse themselves by blowing smoke in a dog’s face to get him high or getting the cat drunk, and so, you know, that’s something that one has to guard against,” she said. “It has to be a genuine medical need, and if that is the best course of treatment then we are in favor of it.”
The American Veterinary Medical Association says it does not have a position on the issue of medical marijuana for pets, according to Lynne White-Shim, Assistant Director with the Division of Scientific Activities. She noted it would be important to conduct research into the effects of marijuana on animals before proceeding with treatment, since not all drugs affect humans and animals in the same way.