One doctor in the GTR is proud to educate others on Medical Marijuana

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- Patients with debilitating illnesses and pain have been waiting for Mississippi’s medical marijuana regulations to go into effect.

It’s a multi-step process.

And, now the first licensed physician to prescribe medical marijuana in the Golden Triangle said part of his role is making sure the community understands how prescription cannabis works.

There is a lot of regulation that comes with Mississippi’s new medical marijuana law.

And, for one local physician, it meant learning all he could about who benefits from this type of pain management.

Education and experience. That’s how we all got to where we are now.

Dr. Jack Walters has been studying for this moment for years.

“The biggest thing is to try to educate people about what medicinal cannabis is and what it isn’t and what it really means for our state going forward,” said Walters.

Walters works with patients and pain management every day at Columbus Orthopedic.

Now, he is the only doctor in the Golden Triangle approved by the state of Mississippi to certify cannabis patients.

Each patient must have an ID card issued by the state Health Department. And, in order to get that card, the patient must meet with a doctor like Dr. Walters. He will examine patients to determine if they can be approved for the treatment.

That’s a lot of steps to make sure medical marijuana is highly regulated.

“When you look at Mississippi as far as other states across the country this is something that has been well run with multiple states across the country and I feel like our state will do a good job trying to get this treatment to people who really need it,” said Walters.

Allegro Family Clinic President Amy Bogue said she doesn’t hesitate to send a patient to Dr. Walters for guidance.

“Our desire is to educate the public about what is medical cannabis and what’s the process for it being a family clinic we wanted to collaborate with some of the physicians in town and say ‘Hey we have a local expert that has done a lot of studying the research and been talking to the State’,” said Bogue.

Dr. Walters emphasized that medical Marijuana should be an option if nothing else works.

Bogue agreed.

“I like the word he uses “alternative”. If you’ve tried other methods and they don’t work then this could be an alternative. So you really need someone with his expertise and in my opinion, that is looking at the whole patient and saying it is or isn’t a good alternative,” said Bogue.

For a list of conditions that may qualify, you can go to the Mississippi Department of Health website.

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