Special considerations when qualifying under Chronic Pain or Autism

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Hi.  It’s Dr. Chou here.  Thanks for reading today’s article which discusses the special considerations when we qualify someone for medical marijuana under the Chronic Pain or Autism diagnoses.

As you know, the state of Louisiana requires that a patient has one of approximately 15 Qualifying Medical Conditions in order to receive treatment with medical marijuana.

With most of the diagnoses, you only have to show that you have a current and active diagnosis of the qualifying medical condition to meet the basic qualifying criteria.

However, with chronic pain and autism, the state legislature and state medical board have added additional conditions that must be met.


Chronic (Intractable) Pain

By definition, chronic pain must meet 3 criteria:

  • The pain must have started over a year ago
  • You must currently suffer from the pain
  • Reasonable attempts to address the condition have failed

In addition, the state legislature has added a condition that the pain must be so severe where opioids would normally be considered for the pain.  However the law does not require a patient to be on opioids.

Also, the state medical board has additional regulations governing the treatment of chronic pain which medical marijuana doctors must follow.

These additional regulations are that:

  • Patients must inform all their physicians about any controlled substances they are prescribed
  • Patients cannot obtain the same type of controlled substance from more than one physician
  • Patients must receive permission from their primary pain management doctor if they wish to seek additional pain management options



Not all patients with autism will qualify for medical marijuana.  The state legislature has mandated that only certain symptoms of autism qualify.  You must have a diagnosis of autism plus one of the following additional criteria:

  • The physical health of the patient is jeopardized due to repetitive behavior, self stimulating behavior, avoidance of others, or inability to communicate
  • The patient exhibits self injuring, physically aggressive, or destructive behavior

In addition, recommendations for autistic patients under the age of 18 require that the recommending physician consult with a pediatric sub-specialist.

We are happy to consult with any autism patients who meet the above criteria.

So I hope that this article gives you some additional insight on the additional qualifications required to recommend medical marijuana for chronic pain and autism.


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Thanks for reading

Doctor Victor Chou, M.D.

Medical Marijuana Clinic of Louisiana