The Ohio State Medical Board made the right decision in declining to add anxiety and autism to the list of medical conditions for medical marijuana (Dispatch article, Thursday).

Research on the effectiveness of marijuana on anxiety and autism is limited. As such, we shouldn’t recommend marijuana to treat those conditions. An article published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics concludes that “given the scarcity of data, cannabis cannot be safely recommended for the treatment of developmental or behavioral disorders at this time.”

We still don’t know the long-term effects of chronic marijuana use and we do know that it increases the risk of psychosis and other poor mental health outcomes.

Patients suffering from autism or anxiety deserve high-quality health care. There’s not enough evidence to prove that marijuana is effective for treating their conditions. Without it, doctors who recommend marijuana for these two conditions can’t be certain that they’re not harming patients.

We commend the Ohio State Medical Board for exercising prudence and putting patients’ needs first.

Marcie Seidel, executive director, Prevention Action Alliance, Upper Arlington